What you need to know about rheumatology
Rheumatology is the branch of medicine that deals with rheumatic diseases, a category of health condition that includes clinical problems with joints, soft tissue, connective tissue, and autoimmune diseases. These conditions can cause ill health and, untreated, could lead to symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased mobility.
Rheumatologists are the medical professionals who specialise in rheumatology, applying their experience in deploying treatments that help people suffering from rheumatic diseases mitigate symptoms and improve their overall condition. They’re also often responsible for diagnosing rheumatic diseases in the first place, using diagnostic tests and physical examinations to reach a conclusion.
You might consider seeing a rheumatologist if you have persistent and unusual muscle, bone, or joint pain, have relatives that are diagnosed with rheumatic diseases, or receive a referral from another medical professional.
During your first appointment, you can expect your rheumatologist to question your medical history and carry out a range of diagnostic and physical tests to help them reach a diagnosis. As some rheumatic diseases can be complex or challenging to diagnose, they may also recommend additional tests including imaging scans of affected areas.
The results from their investigation and assessment will result in a tailored treatment plan being put together, which will typically contain a mix of treatments including medication, physical therapy, or a recommendation for subsequent specialist medical advice.
If you suspect you have a rheumatic disease that’s affecting your joints or soft tissue and resulting in unwelcome symptoms, or if you’ve already received a diagnosis and require further support, search "private rheumatologist near me" or find a rheumatologist with My Health Assistant.