WHAT IS RHEUMATOLOGY?
Rheumatology is a medical science dedicated to the treatment of these rheumatic diseases. A rheumatologist is a specialist physician who has expertise in diagnosing and treating diseases of the joints, muscles, tendons and bones. Sometimes, pain in the musculoskeletal system is not due to simple injury. Inflammatory conditions of the immune system can cause various symptoms that can mask as injury.
Features of these conditions can include:
- Swelling of joints without injury
- Pain not associated with use but occurring even at rest
- Recurrent pain and swelling in joints
- The involvement of more than one joint
- Associated symptoms involving other tissues, like psoriasis, bowel or eye symptoms
- Family history of immune conditions
A sports centre rheumatologist is ideally positioned to determine if the condition is a result of accident, injury, inactivity, genetics or any other cause. Many rheumatic problems develop over time, and a specialist will understand the various symptoms of both recent injuries and older, progressive ailments. Some of the more common Rheumatic diseases include:
- Degenerative conditions related to osteoarthritis or osteoporosis
- Inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis and gout
- Connective tissue diseases, often caused by irregularities in autoimmune system including hypermobility syndrome, lupus, sjogrens syndrome and many others.
Obtaining an accurate diagnosis and understanding the treatment options is essential as many of these conditions are chronic in nature. Treatment can involve medication, exercise and occasionally surgery. Rheumatologists are specialist physicians who are experts in this field and can help guide your treatment.