Rheumatology is a sub-specialty of internal medicine that deals with the study and treatment of diseases involving the muscles, joints, joints, soft tissues and the allied conditions of connective tissues. Doctors trained to diagnose and treat rheumatic diseases are called Rheumatologists.
Conditions treated under Rheumatology :
- Rheumatology can treat over 100 different conditions, but the most common ones are arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis & osteoarthritis arthritis, certain autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal pain disorders and osteoporosis.
- Conditions like gout, lupus, back pain, fibromyalgia and tendonitis are some of the conditions that can be very difficult to diagnose and treat. Rheumatology can manage such conditions.
- Different kinds of arthritis including Osteoarthritis, Septic arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Pseudogout
- Joint diseases of the vertebral column under Spondyloarthropathy
- Related Autoimmune diseases like Lupus, Sjgren's syndrome, Systemic Sclerosis, Polychondritis, Polymyositis, Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Sarcoidosis
When to see a Rheumatologist :
- Muscular or musculoskeletal pains can often be resolved in a few days. When the pain in the joints, muscles or bones turn severe or disabling on persisting for more than a few days, one must see the physician.
- Like in all diseases or conditions, it is always important to determine a correct diagnosis early so that the appropriate treatment can be administered early. Some of the musculoskeletal disorders tend to respond best to treatment when in the early stages of the condition.
- Since many rheumatic conditions are not easily identifiable in the early stages, it is important to see a rheumatologist. Rheumatologists are specially trained to discover the reasons for swelling and paint.
- Rheumatic diseases are often complex, and change or evolve over time. Hence, they may need more than one visit to the rheumatologist to determine the right diagnosis and the course of treatment. Rheumatologists work closely with the patients to identify and design a personalized treatment program.
Diagnosis under Rheumatology :
- Extensive medical history and a physical examination are useful methods of diagnosis that can be performed easily. The more complicated conditions often require a rheumatologist.