When to see a Rheumatologist?
From time to time we all suffer from general musculoskeletal pains that last for just a few days. But, when pain in your joints, muscles, neck, back and bones becomes severe or persistent, lasting for more than a few days, you should see your doctor.
Rheumatologists are experts trained to have special skills in the complex and early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and rheumatic illnesses and much, much more. They treat patients with pain and disorders of the joints, muscles, tendons, bones and other connective tissues.
Rheumatic diseases are difficult to identify in their early stages and you can have some everyday symptoms that actually are related to much more complex conditions. These diseases have a high prevalence in the population and can affect people of all ages. Some rheumatic diseases can also involve other organs, like lungs, skin, eyes, gastrointestinal system, heart, kidneys and nervous system.
Rheumatologists are trained to evaluate all of the symptoms to diagnose and treat the condition. They know it is imperative to find the correct diagnosis as rapidly as possible to begin appropriate treatment because many of these disorders respond best to treatment in the early stages of disease. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can improve the outcome of rheumatic diseases and prevent disability.
Rheumatologists are experts in the non-surgical treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, back and neck pain, tendinitis, arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.
Some common symptoms of rheumatic diseases could inlcude:
- Joint pain or tenderness: this pain may come and go or hurt all the time
- Swelling in one or more joints around the wrist, elbow, knee or smaller joints of the hand and feet
- Stiffness around your joints
- Inflammation: your joint can look red or warm to touch
A few common diseases treated by rheumatologists include:
- Neck and back pain
- Early arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Sjogren’s syndrome
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