Who is a Rheumatologist?
Rheumatologists are physicians who are specifically trained to diagnose and treat over 100 types of arthritis and various related disorders that affect the body’s bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissue. Common examples are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis and gout.
Rheumatic conditions are mostly chronic, which means the conditions persist over long periods, often lifetime, not necessary symptoms may be present. Rheumatic disorders affect a large amount of the population around the world.
Why See a Rheumatologist?
A patient usually consults a rheumatologist when one needs:
- An accurate diagnosis for chronic symptoms affecting the musculoskeletal system
2. Expertise in devising pain relief and treatment plans for a rheumatologic condition
Rheumatologists have the depth and breadth of experience necessary to accurately diagnose and treat a large type of conditions. A patient can then receive an early diagnosis and begin suitable treatments before developing joint damage.
Diagnosis may be challenging:
Rheumatologic disorders are often difficult to diagnose because symptoms may come and go or mimic other conditions. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia can exhibit similar symptoms. The sooner a patient receives an accurate diagnosis, the better effective medical treatment and pain relief can begin.
Early treatment may facilitate long-term wellness:
Getting treatment early within the disease process helps a patient return to normal activities as soon as possible. Early treatment is additionally important for two more reasons:
Some rheumatic conditions are more respond well to treatment in their early stages.
Early treatment can minimize the long-term, cumulative damage that’s sometimes caused by chronic rheumatic conditions.
For example, among people that are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis but don’t receive treatment within the first 2 to three years, 20 to 30% experience a permanent disability that forestalls them from working.
Do Patients with Osteoarthritis Need a Rheumatologist?
A large number of populations is affected by osteoarthritis and is one of the foremost commonly treated and extensively researched medical conditions within the world.
A person who has osteoarthritis may seek treatment from a rheumatologist, a medical care doctor, a physiatrist, an orthopedist, or a mix of these. Additionally, the patient could also be referred to as a physical or occupational therapist.
What sort of health care professional an osteoarthritis patient should see depends on many factors, including the patient’s personal preferences, access and proximity to worry, and whether or not there are additional medical problems which will complicate diagnosis and treatment.
Rheumatologists typically play one amongst two roles in patient care:
A rheumatologist may serve as the patient’s primary medical doctor, providing therapy and coordinating to take care of the patient.
A consultant rheumatologist may work in accordance with a patient to diagnose a condition and recommend a tailored treatment plan which will be implemented by the patient and his or her primary care doctor.
The second option is the most typical. In these cases a primary care provider oversees a patient’s care, and also the patient may revisit the rheumatologist once a year for monitoring or when the treatment plan has to be adjusted.