Rheumatologists Treat More Than 120 Different Diseases
Dont let the rheum in the name fool you. Besides rheumatoid arthritis , these doctors treat a wide variety of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that may affect the joints , as well as other muscle or bone problems or injuries that can make your joints hurt and limit your function.
In addition to the systemic diseases, people may come to see a rheumatologist to diagnose chronic back or neck pain or for a localized joint or muscle or tendon problem such as tennis elbow or Achilles tendonitis, says Paula Marchetta, MD, MBA, president of the American College of Rheumatology. They also treat other conditions that you might be unaware of, such as osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and Lyme disease.
What Is The Difference Between A Rheumatologist Vs An Orthopaedist
Orthopaedists and rheumatologists specialize in conditions affecting the joints, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. They treat many of the same conditions, including joint pain and tendinitis. But there are a few differences between these medical specialties.
Rheumatologists consider every organ system when looking for the cause of your symptoms. An orthopaedist focuses on injuries, congenital disease and wear and tear . Also, orthopaedists perform surgery, but rheumatologists do not. While both rheumatologists and orthopaedists help diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions, rheumatologists have specialized training in musculoskeletal conditions of an inflammatory and autoimmune etiology.
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Pregnancy May Give You A Reprieve
RA is primarily diagnosed in women during their childbearing years, so its natural to have many questions and concerns about how the disease will affect your fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum health.
The good news is that for many patients with inflammatory arthritis, pregnancy temporarily suppresses the immune system. This causes an overall decrease in inflammation throughout the body, giving many patients a nine-month window of some relief. On the other hand, some women may still experience flares during pregnancy, so its important to work together with both your ob-gyn and rheumatologist closely to manage all your arthritis and pregnancy symptoms.
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Weight Management And Diet
Although the link between your weight and osteoarthritis of the hands may be less clear than for weight-bearing joints such as the knees, some research shows that being overweight increases inflammation and therefore pain. Therefore, if you have osteoarthritis of the hand or wrist, it still makes sense to try to maintain, or achieve, a healthy weight.
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Primary Care Provider For Psoriatic Arthritis
A primary care provider should be on everybodys team. But when it comes to PsA, they are extra important.
One reason is because PsA increases the risk of heart disease due to uncontrolled inflammation in the body. A primary care provider can keep an eye on a few things to :
If youre young, its important to remind your primary care provider that PsA increases your risk of heart disease. Cholesterol and blood sugar tests arent typically recommended for younger people without risk factors. Reminding your provider that you are at higher risk due to your PsA helps ensure the right tests can be ordered.
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What Kind Of Doctor Do You See For Joint Pain
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.
Who will treat you? Orthopaedic surgeons specialise in surgical treatments for problems caused by disease and injury in the bones, joints and other structures involved in making the body move. Most orthopaedic surgeons specialise in particular procedures or areas of the body.
Many people with arthritis have constant pain. Some of this pain can be relieved by rest, heat and cold treatments, exercise, splints, and medication. When these therapies dont lessen the pain, surgery may be considered. Possible Benefits of Surgery Arthritis is usually a chronic condition and sometimes can lead to disability.
You Can Have Psoriasis And A Different Kind Of Arthritis That Is Not Psa
People with psoriasis can develop different types of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, and reactive arthritis so diagnosing PsA involves ruling out those other conditions.
Its often difficult to say in a first visit whether a patient definitely has psoriatic arthritis or another type of arthritis that just co-exists with psoriasis, says Dr. Kumar. PsA can take a long time to diagnose because a patient can delay seeing the doctor, then confirming PsA can require multiple labs and imaging tests.
The good news is that the diagnosis process for psoriatic arthritis is improving. Whereas PsA wasnt even recognized as a distinct condition decades ago , doctors are now better equipped with improved lab tests and imaging studies that help identify this disease so more patients can find relief.
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Internal Medicine Doctor In Tucson Arizona
If you have arthritis, the best thing you can do is find a supportive, knowledgeable, and experienced doctor to help you feel your best. Dr. Robert E. Lending is a board-certified internal medicine physician with decades of experience in the medical field. He has a lot of experience treating patients with conditions like arthritis and would love to help you.
To make an appointment with Dr. Lending, call 795-4291 or request an appointment online now. We look forward to welcoming you to our clinic in Tucson!
What You Can Do
The most important first step is to get an accurate diagnosis of whats causing your joint pain. Talk to your primary care doctor about your symptoms. You may be referred to a rheumatologist or orthopedist, doctors who specialize in arthritis and related conditions.
Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinic of Northern Virginia proudly serves Vienna, Tysons Corner, Fairfax, Great Falls, Mclean, Falls Church, Dunn Loring, Sterling, Herndon, Chantilly, Reston, Ashburn, Leesburg, Burke, Annandale, Arlington, Oakton, Washington D.C., Bethesda, Potomac, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Rockville and more.
Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinical Center located in Vienna, Virginia provides consultations and treatments for Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Wellness, Ankylosing spondylitis, Infusion center, Weight loss, Keto, Keto diet, Ideal protein diet, Diet, Weight loss, Medical weight loss, Obesity Treatment ,Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, PRP Platelet rich plasma, Cold laser therapy, Musculoskeletal Ultrasound, Vitamin, IV vitamin therapy, Antiaging, Glutathione, Cimzia, Orencia, Remicade, Lupus, Simponi aria, Gout, Knee pain, Shoulder pain, Rotator cuff tendinitis, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and more. Contact our Rheumatologists today for a consultation. We are located at 8130 Boone Blvd, Suite 340, Vienna VA 22182.
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Types Of Imaging Tests
Doctors use several types of imaging tests to produce images of the spine. These include:
- Plain radiographs, using X-ray techniques: This is the most common technique for assessing disease in bones and back pain.
- Computerized tomography : This is a more precise technique that can reveal atypical changes in bone structures of the entire spine.
- Magnetic resonance imaging : This technique examines changes to the soft tissue and the spine. It is beneficial in diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis .
CT and MRIs are more advanced methods of imaging the spine. Other methods, such as electromyography and nerve conduction studies, can be beneficial.
What Can I Do To Help
Rheumatologists are like detectives looking for clues to relieve your pain and treat your condition. To give your new doctor a head start:
Make a timeline. Go back as far as you can remember. Describe your symptoms and how theyve changed over time.
Do some family research. What kinds of problems run in your family? Find out what you can about the health of your grandparents, parents, and any brothers and sisters.
List your meds. Your rheumatologist will need to know about every medication youâre taking:
- All your prescriptions for RA and other health problems
- Over-the-counter medicines, rub-on creams, and other pain relievers
- Vitamins, herbs, and supplements
You can write up a list or toss all the bottles in a bag and take them with you.
Ask your other doctors for copies of your records and any test results or X-rays, and take them with you, too.
American Academy of Pediatrics: âDefinition of a Pediatrician.â
American College of Physicians: âAbout Internal Medicine.â
American College of Rheumatology: Rheumatoid Arthritis,Simple Tasks, âWhat Is a Rheumatologist?â âImportance of Following Your Treatment Plan.â
American Physical Therapy Association: Who Are Physical Therapists?
Arthritis Foundation: Benefits of Weight Loss,Prepare for Your Doctor Visit,â What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?â
Cleveland Clinic: First Rheumatology Appointment?Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Pala, O. Cavaliere, F. Clinical Care in the Rheumatic Diseases.
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Other Specialists For Psoriatic Arthritis
If you have other health conditions related to PsA, you might need the help of a few other specialists. If you do not have these conditions, you can leave them off the roster. Preemptive screening visits arent needed, either.
You may need the expertise of a cardiologist if you have severe heart disease. While a primary care provider can manage blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease, a cardiologist is needed for multiple risk factors or when you have severe heart disease.
Seeing an ophthalmologist is important if your PsA causes eye inflammation . Eye inflammation is an uncommon complication of PsA. Symptoms include eye pain, redness, and vision changes.
A gastroenterologist may be an important member of your care team if you have inflammatory bowel disease. PsA can increase the risk of inflammation in the gut. Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include chronic abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloody stools.
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When To See Your Doctor About Arthritis Pain
Home treatment hasnât helped. Minor aches and pains usually get better with ice or heat therapy or over-the-counter pain relievers. But if your symptoms donât improve after about a week, it may be something more serious.
You have pain multiple joints.Rheumatoid arthritis, for example, can make several joints hurt. Quick treatment is important to prevent long-term damage.
Your joints hurt a lot. Your doctor should check out any severe pain so they can diagnose and treat it.
Pain doesnât go away after rest. This can be a sign that your condition may be serious. You may need therapy, such as medications or even surgery.
Your joints turn red or hot. It may be normal for you to feel a bit stiff first thing in the morning. But if your symptoms appear suddenly or are unusual, have them checked out.
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What Type Of Doctor Should You See For Knee Pain
If the pain is the result of an injury, it is recommended to go to one of Coordinated Healths Orthopedic Walk-In Injury Centers for assessment. For pain that has been occurring for a longer duration of time, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic physician for evaluation and make a personalized treatment plan.
Rheumatologist Vs Orthopedic Specialists
Your first thought may be to go to a general physician or rest and avoid using your limbs when the pain, stiffness, and discomfort from arthritis flares up. However, regular physicians do not have the many years of practice or specialized training that orthopedic specialists have. Also, it is standard practice for patients to see rheumatologists for treatment in many areas. While rheumatologists are essential for some types of arthritis care, their primary focus is on inflammatory autoimmune disorders.
The difference between rheumatologists and orthopedics is the type of care they provide. Orthopedic surgeons provide a wide variety of treatments that include surgery to help address joint symptoms from arthritis causes to help reduce pain and improve mobility. Rheumatologists, however, focus on symptom management.
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What Type Of Hand Surgery Is Most Commonly Performed On The Specific Joints Affected By Arthritis
- Base of the thumb: Where your thumb and wrist join. Common surgical options include removing part or all of one of the trapezium bone , tendon transfer or joint fusion.
- Knuckles : Joint replacement is almost always considered for this repair. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause serious damage and disability to your knuckles.
- Second joint of your finger : Osteoarthritis commonly causes stiffness and loss of motion. Joint replacement or fusion are considered for these joints. Because you use these joints frequently, there is a chance your implant could wear out. In this case, your provider may recommend further surgery.
- Top of finger joint : Joint fusion is commonly used to treat arthritis in this joint.
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Do Orthopedic Doctors Treat Arthritis
If you experience a painful, burning sensation or stiffness and swelling in your joints, you may have arthritis. You are not alone. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that is a leading cause of infirmary, mobility challenges and disability for many. It affects over 50 million people across the country and is not specific to seniors.
Arthritis can develop suddenly or gradually at any age, though seniors and individuals with autoimmune conditions are among the most affected groups. Arthritis is a degenerative bone condition that gradually destroys the cartilage or connective tissue between bones and joints. Normally, the connective tissue in between the bones decreases with age. But in individuals with arthritis, this process happens earlier and at a faster rate.
The process can become so advanced that it causes bones to rub together, creating friction and in some cases, knocking or clicking sounds. The pain and heat sensations that sufferers experience are caused by inflammation that can be triggered by overactivity, repetitive movements, bone spurs, certain foods, beverages, tobacco and nicotine products, illnesses, infections, injuries, stress, and weather changes.
Many people experience arthritis symptoms differently. However, the following signs are common in arthritis sufferers:
- Inability to place full body weight on lower joints
- Mobility problems
- Joints that are warm or hot to the touch
- Abnormal blood count
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Watch: Starting Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
This video is part of an educational project from researchers at Yale University, Berkshire Medical Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Hospital for Special Surgery, CreakyJoints and the Global Healthy Living Foundation, and ArthritisPower. It was made possible with support from the Rheumatology Research Foundation. Watch more videos from this series here.
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What Is Knee Pain
Pain is a common knee problem that can originate in any of the bony structures compromising the knee joint , the kneecap , or the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee. Knee pain can be aggravated by physical activity, as well as obesity, affected by the surrounding muscles and their movements, and be triggered by other problems . Knee pain can affect people of all ages, and home remedies can be helpful unless it becomes severe.
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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.
Arthritis Treatment In Orthopedic Clinics
There are a lot of the ways doctors at orthopedic clinics work together to find you relief. Here are some of the treatments that are used to treat arthritis symptoms and slow the conditions progression. Most patients require a combination of at least 2 of these treatments for effective and long-term results.
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How Does A Doctor Diagnose Arthritis
There are three different types of tests used to diagnose arthritis inpatients. Based on the symptoms the diagnose differs.
They Are Specialists Who Like What They Do
According to a 2018 survey, if rheumatologists had it to do over again, four out of five them would choose to be a doctor and three out of four would choose the same specialty. That satisfaction may be because they can see the impact they make on patients lives and well-being.
If you treat someones high blood pressure and cholesterol, youre helping in the long term to prevent heart disease and stroke, but the patient doesnt feel anything unless they have side effects from the medication. When you treat someone with arthritis and you relieve their pain, they wake up feeling better and normal, and that is the wonderful part about being a physician and a rheumatologist, says Dr. Marchetta.
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