Rheumatology is a specialty field of medicine that helps treat conditions that affect the bones, joints, muscles and ligaments. These conditions can be caused by an abnormal immune system and lead to inflammation. This can result in joint pain, swelling, redness and affect your range of motion. Sometimes the inflammation can involve other organs such as the kidneys, hearts, lungs and blood vessels. Some diseases can be complex and would benefit from an evaluation by a Rheumatologist.
Our Rheumatologist will provide a full assessment and examination to help accurately diagnose and manage various conditions. Often blood tests and/or imaging (X-ray) will be required to provide optimal care and treatment. We will also provide educational resources in addition to reviewing instructions and side effects of any medications, if needed.
What does a Rheumatologist do?
The Rheumatologist assesses:
- Signs (from a physical exam) and symptoms (what you see and how you feel),
- including systemic (whole body) involvement by a rheumatic disease
- Joint disorders
- Bone health (osteopenia and osteoporosis)
- Overall function, including physical, mental well-being and level of independence
- Results of advanced imaging and lab tests
- Treatment options with in-depth counseling
- Need for further assessment and/or treatment, such as:
- Referrals to other health care providers
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Orthopedic aids (splint, brace, cane, etc.) or corrective surgery
- Hospital stay
Some common conditions treated by Mather Rheumatology include:
- Autoimmune diseases (including +ANA)
- Back Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Inflammatory Muscle diseases
- Lupus – SLE
- Lyme Disease
- Musculoskeletal pain disorders
- Osteopenia and osteoporosis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Raynaud's phenomenon
- Rheumatoid arthritis
When should you see a Rheumatologist?
- If musculoskeletal pains in the joints, muscles or bones is severe or persists for more than a few days.
- If you have any of the conditions discussed above.
- If your primary care physician recommends rheumatologic consultation.
- Abnormal blood test, including an Anti-Nuclear Antibody (ANA), Rheumatoid Factor (RF), or an Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR).
- If you have questions or concerns about having or preventing conditions like gout and osteoporosis.