What Does A Rheumatologist Do
Rheumatology studies the causes, impact, and treatments of inflammatory autoimmune disorders on the human body. In an autoimmune disorder, a patients own immune system malfunctions and turns its attack on his own healthy body tissue, rather than on invading or external disease agents.
Rheumatologists can be internists or pediatricians who have additional training and qualifications. They have the experience to diagnose and treat many of the over 100 systemic forms of adult, juvenile, and temporal arthritis. They treat mechanical joint, bone, muscle, and soft and connective tissue diseases.
Often referred to as arthritis doctors, rheumatologists treat many other diseases too.
Holistic And Osteopathic Specialists
Both osteopaths and chiropractors fall under this category. Osteopaths are physicians who have additional training with regards to the musculoskeletal system. They are also well acquainted with how lifestyle changes can treat various ailments such as back pain.
Chiropractors are able to adjust your spine into its proper alignment. These adjustments can provide immediate relief, and regular appointments can help maintain spinal health.
Common Types Of Arthritis
OA is the most common form of arthritis. Some refer to OA as degenerative joint disease or wear and tear arthritis, affecting the hands, hips, and knees.
RA is an autoimmune disease and causes inflammation or painful swelling in the affected parts of the body.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that tends to cause a sense of pain over the whole bodyit also leads to sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress.
Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis and is very painful. Most often, gout will affect one joint at a time.
Arthritis in children is called childhood arthritis or juvenile arthritis and may cause permanent physical damage to the joints. This damage can make it hard for children to walk, play, and dress and may cause a permanent physical disability.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Otc For Arthritis
What Are Some Red Flags To Watch Out For When Picking A Rheumatologist
Be wary of someone who doesnt look you in the eye eye contact is crucial, Ginsberg believes.
If the doctors head is buried in your chart or electronic health record during your appointment, thats a red flag. You want someone who relates to you, not your chart or lab results, he says.
Another major red flag is when doctors, nurses, or other members of the office staff dont respond to your phone calls.
Why The First Rheumatologist Appointment Matters
The process of diagnosis is often a scary, worrisome time. However, the good news is that there are a wide variety of treatment options available should your rheumatologist diagnose you with rheumatoid arthritis. While it is a chronic condition without a cure, many patients are able to find treatment options that significantly decrease their symptoms. The first step to appropriate treatment is getting an accurate diagnosis, and a rheumatologist is critically important to that process.
Read Also: Rheumatoid Arthritis Remission Naturally
Don’t Miss: How Effective Is Tylenol Arthritis
Why Go To An Orthopedic Clinic
Orthopedic clinics have doctors who are experts in treating conditions like arthritis. Orthopedic physicians work closely with other specialized professionals with a wealth of experience treating musculoskeletal conditions, and this combination of knowledge and expertise are beneficial to patients like you.
Read Also: How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Feel
You Might Need To See An Orthopedic Specialist For Joint Pain If:
- You have joint pain that started after an injury
- Your joint pain is so severe it is limiting function or daily activities
- You have moderate to advanced arthritis
- Your hip or knee pain has become progressively worse and worse while bearing weight
- Your previous or current treatment for joint pain was unsuccessful
If you are experiencing joint pain and have questions about what doctor you should see for treatment, please feel free to contact us. Wed be happy to help point you in the right direction for proper treatment.
Also Check: Can You Work With Rheumatoid Arthritis
How Is Ra Diagnosed
RA is diagnosed by reviewing symptoms, conducting a physical examination, and doing X-rays and lab tests. Its best to diagnose RA earlywithin 6 months of the onset of symptomsso that people with the disease can begin treatment to slow or stop disease progression . Diagnosis and effective treatments, particularly treatment to suppress or control inflammation, can help reduce the damaging effects of RA.
They Are Medical Detectives
Your primary care physician may send you to a rheumatologist as a last resort after no one else has figured out whats going on.
We treat lots of rare diseases as well as more common diseases that sometimes present in unusual ways that make it harder to make the diagnosis. We have to take into consideration every system of the body, not just one organ. We do lots of detective work and think about patterns in your symptoms, Dr. Marchetta says.
Read Also: What Is The Most Painful Arthritis
When Should I See A Knee Doctor To Treat My Pain
Knee pain is very common and can have different causes. Whether young or mature, you can experience knee pain. When knee pain is experienced by a young person, its usually a result of an injury. Older adults and the elderly experiencing knee pain may be due to wear and tear or arthritis.
Knee pain that does not get better warrants a visit to a doctor. Pain is your bodys way of alerting you that something is wrong. Here are a few signs that its time to see a doctor for knee pain.
Should I See A Doctor About Arthritis
Many people think that nothing can be done about arthritis pain. They think they need to figure out how to live with it â perhaps just like their parents did. For that reason, they think there is no reason to see a doctor. But thatâs not true. If you have a joint that continually aches, you should definitely see your doctor. Treatment can ease your discomfort and may also prevent it from getting worse. In some cases, irreversible joint damage occurs within the first 2 years after arthritis has started. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can really pay off and are critical to your overall quality of life. Hereâs why.
- The pain from arthritis can cause you to stop moving as much as you would have. That can make your muscles weak. Progressive muscle weakness can lead to increasingly less stable joints, poor muscle reflexes, and tiredness.
- Painful, stiff joints can interrupt balance and make it easier to fall. Because it becomes increasingly harder to recuperate from falls as you age, itâs key to avoid falling.
- Keeping your joints in one position for too long because they are achy or painful may cause you to lose the ability to fully straighten them out. This is known as a contracture.
- As arthritis worsens, it can impact every part of your life. It can limit your ability to participate in daily household chores, in your work, and in pleasurable social activities.
You May Like: Arthritis Flare Up In Wrist
You May Like: Is Arthritis Affected By Humidity
Schedule An Appointment With Your Doctor
Pain Treatment Specialists has some of the best knee doctors in the country. Our knee pain doctors Dr. George Hanna, Dr. Namrata Khimani, and Dr. Michael Nguyen are board-certified interventional pain specialists who have graduated from Ivy League universities. They diagnose the root cause of your knee pain using X-Rays, CT Scans, and MRIs and then they treat it using the latest minimally invasive knee pain treatments. For more information, please schedule an appointment with your doctor today.
What Do Orthopedics Doctors Do
Orthopedists are specialists in the musculoskeletal system, including the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues. These specialists are trained in diagnosing and treating bone and joint disease and injuries, which may involve orthopedic surgery. Your primary care provider is likely to refer you to an orthopedist if you have joint or musculoskeletal pain from a previous injury. A primary care provider may also refer you to an orthopedic surgeon if they suspect youll need surgical treatment to correct joint pain, such as a total knee or hip replacement.
Orthopedists often treat conditions such as osteoarthritis , nerve pain, sports injuries, herniated discs, osteoporosis, and many other conditions. Although orthopedics involves surgical correction of many musculoskeletal problems, being referred to an orthopedic surgeon doesnt necessarily mean you will absolutely need surgery to correct your joint pain or injury.
You May Like: How Many Kinds Of Arthritis Are There
When You Know You Have The Right Match
Traci Lynn Martin, a neonatal ICU nurse and expedition kayaker from Lees Summit, Missouri, found out she had rheumatoid arthritis, she went to a few rheumatologists before she found the right chemistry.
The first person I saw I didnt like, Martin says, because I didnt feel like he was listening to me. He had a formula with questions and it wasnt personalized. It was important for me to stay active, to be able to do my triathlons, and long distance kayaking that I had done my whole life.
Friends referred her to other specialists, but she knew right away when she found the right rheumatologist. He sits down and doesnt rush in and out and doesnt leave the room until I am happy, Martin says. I walked out of there so happy after the first visit, I felt like I had someone who was listening to me for the first time since my diagnosis.
Read Also: Can Arthritis Be In Your Muscles
Physical Exam For Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis
The next step in diagnosing psoriatic arthritis is a thorough physical exam, which can involve a number of steps, including the following:
- Looking for signs of psoriasis in usual spots such as elbows and knees, as well as less visible places including the scalp, belly button, intergluteal cleft , palms of hands, and soles of feet
- Checking the nails of fingers and toes for abnormalities
- Applying pressure to joints for tenderness and swelling, as well as looking for redness
- Checking for tendon and ligament issues, including plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis
- Checking for back mobility
Also Check: Is Tylenol Arthritis Good For Inflammation
Read Also: How Can Arthritis Be Cured
Do You Have Joint Pain We Can Help
At Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida, we understand how chronic pain is disruptive to your quality of life. At our practice, we can help you find the relief you crave from your joint pain, sports injuries, or other orthopedic concerns. If youve sustained disability or suffer from pain from arthritis, body trauma, an injury accident, or something similar, our orthopedics treatments can help.
For more information or to schedule a consultation at Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida, please call 215-2008 today or reach out online to book an appointment.
Questions The Psoriasis Doctor May Ask You
Psoriasis can cause other physical or mental health problems. To get you the best treatment, your doctor may want to know:
- How much does psoriasis affect your daily life?
- Do you have anxiety or depression?
- Are you tired a lot?
- Do you have trouble using your hands and feet?
- Do you have joint pain?
- How well do you sleep at night?
- Have your symptoms changed or gotten worse?
Don’t Miss: Can You Avoid Getting Arthritis
What Is Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning the immune system misreads healthy joints, tendons, pelvic joints, or the spine as a potential threat that needs to be attacked. This process can cause inflammation, pain, swelling, and/or stiffness3, most commonly in the hands, feet, ankles, wrists, or knees4. One of the major risk factors of developing psoriatic arthritis is having psoriasis, a skin condition most commonly characterized by patches of scaly skin that has dead skin cells on top. Of the approximately 7.5 million people in the U.S.5 who have psoriasis, between 20% and 30% will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis6. That said, psoriasis does not cause psoriatic arthritis, and having the skin condition doesnt mean youll automatically develop psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis usually shows up after about 7 to 10 years of living with psoriasis, although a small minority of patients will develop psoriatic arthritis before ever seeing any skin evidence of psoriasis7. And the severity of someones psoriasis doesnt determine whether they will develop psoriatic arthritis. Someone can have a horrible skin disease but no joint problems, and vice versa, Samar Gupta, M.D., an associate professor at the University of Michigan Medical School and the chief of VA clinical rheumatology and medical education, tells SELF.
Dont Miss: Peanuts And Arthritis
Do I Need To Go To A Rheumatologist Or An Orthopedist
With so much overlap between medical disciplines and specializations, it is often difficult for an individual to discern which type of doctor to see for their problem.
This is especially true for orthopedics and rheumatology, as both of these types of physicians treat joint pain.
Orthopedists are surgeons who address bone and joint diseases and injuries, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, and body trauma. Rheumatologists are internal medicine physicians who focus on autoimmune conditions and the non-surgical treatment of such diseases, such as arthritis, where medications and/or physical therapy can provide the proper treatment.
It is important to understand the areas these two specialties cover in order to make an informed decision.
Don’t Miss: What Not To Eat When You Have Gouty Arthritis
Complete Medical History For Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis
Your road to a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis starts with talking to your rheumatologist in order to share symptoms and identify risk factors. While symptoms like joint pain could suggest a number of conditions, in psoriatic arthritis, joint pain often has specific characteristics, including the following:
- Joint pain that gets better with use
- Joint redness and swelling
- Swelling of an entire finger or toe as opposed to just one joint, called dactylitis or sausage digits
- Morning stiffness that lasts more than 30 minutes
- Changes in the nails of your fingers or toes, such as holes, pitting, discoloration or softness, which occurs in 80 to 90 percent of PsA cases
When patients talk about these psoriatic arthritis symptoms, rheumatologists like Dr. Kumar hear a number of common concerns, such as My shoes dont fit, I feel stiff all over in the mornings, and I have trouble opening jars or door knobs.
Along with listening to your symptoms, your rheumatologist will want to hear about any possible risk factors for psoriatic arthritis. While this condition can affect patients of both genders at a range of ages, the following can increase your risk:
- Having psoriasis
- Having a family history of PsA, psoriasis, or associated conditions, including ankylosing spondylitis, Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, autoimmune uveitis, and reactive arthritis
Wear Protective Sports Gear To Prevent Injuries
Also Check: Does Red Meat Cause Arthritis
As Can The Words Youre Too Young To Have Arthritis
When you say the word arthritis, every older person you meet has it, too, Dishner says. While well-meaning people may sympathize by comparing their own ailment with yours, psoriatic arthritis is a much different form of arthritis and does not develop because of aging. It can occur at any age but typically begins to cause symptoms among those between 30 and 50 years old, according to the NPF.
Why Choose An Internal Medicine Physician
Arthritis is a complex condition that can be difficult to diagnose. Internal medicine doctors are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of such conditions. They will be able to distinguish the symptoms of arthritis from other conditions.
Internal medicine physicians have a thorough understanding of the types of medical treatments arthritis patients need. They can prescribe medications and administer injections to reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. They also understand the complexities of the human body and can recommend treatments that will best suit your body.
Another added benefit of getting your arthritis treated by an internal medicine physician is that you can get medical care for other conditions at the same time. It can be a hassle and time consuming to juggle multiple doctors and visit different offices for every medical need you have. Fortunately, internal medicine physicians are qualified to treat all types of conditions and can take care of a variety of health issues you may be having not just arthritis.
Also Check: What Medication Is Given For Arthritis
What If Youre Not Satisfied With Your Doctor
McIlwain says that if youre not feeling better after a few months of treatment, you should consider reevaluating your medical team.
There is very good treatment available for psoriatic arthritis, and most patients should begin to feel some improvement within a month or two, he says. But if you arent getting better, talk openly and honestly with your doctor to make sure youre on the right track and if youre not, find another physician.
Also Check: Inflammatory Arthropathy Symptoms
Do Orthopedic Surgeons Work On Knees
Orthopedic doctors focus on joints, muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and how they interact across the body. Orthopedic doctors choose from a wide array of specialties like Joints and often are the ones who treat injured knees and hips caused by arthritis or another joint limiting condition. Two of our care providers, Dr. Nauman Akhtar and Dr. Matthew Gavin, specialize in joint surgery.
Four out of every five knee pain cases resolve by themselves. But sometimes its important to see a doctor. Lets look at why knee pain is so common and four aspects of your symptoms that mean you should see a doctor.
Most knee pain goes away
Everyone has aches and pains that they occasionally experience. Sometimes they arent cause for alarm and in fact, thats true in the vast majority of cases. Eighty percent of the knee problems people have will resolve by themselves within a period of time, explains Robert Gotlin, DO, of Beth Israel Medical Center. When certain symptoms are present, though, it is important to go to the doctor.
Lets look at why knee injury statistics are so high and four times your knee pain symptoms require a doctor.
Why knee pain is so common
Knee pain is incredibly common among American adults. In fact, it is the second most diagnosed pain condition , according to data from the CDC.
#1 Difficulty walking
Read Also: Is It Painful To Cut Your Wrist
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Arthritis In Your Eyes