Rheumatology deals with the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of musculoskeletal diseases and systemic autoimmune conditions commonly referred to as rheumatic diseases. These diseases include many hereditary diseases of the joints, muscles, soft tissues, bones and connective tissues, causing pain, swelling, stiffness, and deformity. Common diseases treated by rheumatologists include osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic back pain, tendinitis, and lupus.
It is worthwhile to make an appointment with a rheumatologist in the following cases:
- muscle and joint pain
- swelling of joints
- back pain
- unclear skin rash or fever
During the first appointment, a rheumatologist performs a thorough physical exam and determines the necessary tests and analyses. Family history can be very important to the diagnosis of a rheumatic disease, as these conditions run in families. Treating rheumatologic diseases is often long-term and requires regular monitoring and comprehensive treatment of the patient’s condition. A timely consultation, accurate diagnosis of the disease and early onset therapy help to prevent the occurrence of severe complications.