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.
Listening To Your Symptoms
Common symptoms that could be related to arthritis include swelling around the joint area, stiffness and joint pain. The arthritis doctor in Pottstown, PA, you choose will ask you to describe your symptoms and give some details about your lifestyle. It can be helpful to track your symptoms for a few weeks prior to your appointment. When explaining your problem areas, you should try to include the following:
- Where you feel the pain
- When the pain occurs
- The intensity of the pain as a number scale
- How long youve experienced it
- What you were doing when it began or worsened
What Type Of Doctor Specializes In Hands
Hands are among the most delicate structures in the human body, filled with a complex network of fine bones, tendons, nerves and blood vessels. It’s exceptionally difficult to lead a normal life when your hands can’t function due to deformity, injury or debilitating illness. These medical conditions are treated by two kinds of doctors: orthopedic surgeons and plastic surgeons.
Recommended Reading: Best Relief For Arthritis In Hands
How Active Should You Be
Maintaining a certain level of activity is usually encouraged. If you are able to, it is typically best to keep your muscles and joints moving as much as you can. If you use your muscles and joints less, they will begin to deteriorate and can make your pain and symptoms worse. Our arthritis doctor Pottstown, PA residents have relied on for years to discuss different exercises for you that will be safe.
Exercise Doesnt Have To Hurt To Help
When it comes to all kinds of arthritis, exercise can feel like a catch-22. You need to stay active to help minimize stiffness and swelling, but thanks to RAs effects on your joints, the very exercises that can help you manage it can sometimes feel hard or even impossible to do.
But that doesnt mean you should give up on fitness. The trick, Dr. Levitan says, is to find a way to move your body that is manageable and, importantly, that makes you happy. No need to go hardcore but it is important to move every day.
With your doctors OK, you could start with 10-, 15- or 20-minute daily walks. Swimming or using an elliptical machine or recumbent bike at the gym are also easier on your joints. Gentle exercises like yoga can keep your joints limber and your muscles strong, he adds.
Don’t Miss: How To Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis In Hands
The Benefits Of Involving Your Doctor
Based on your condition, you and your doctors can develop a joint treatment plan to minimize your symptoms, help you preserve joint function, and improve your quality of life by enabling you tostay as active as possible, says Dr. Brown.
When the signs of osteoarthritis begin to limit your daily activities, its time to take action and call your doctor.
And staying active provides you at least two additional benefits:
- Extra pounds raise your risk for serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Extra pounds also add stress on weight-bearing joints and contribute to arthritis.
- Physical activity strengthens your muscles and helps you maintain better balance. The Arthritis Foundation reports that people with osteoarthritis have as much as a 30 percent higher risk of falling and a 20 percent greater risk of fractures. Seeking treatment for osteoarthritis can help you stay on your feet.
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.
Don’t Miss: Rheumatoid Arthritis And Itching
What Do Rheumatology Doctors Do
Rheumatologists are experts in the treatment of inflammatory autoimmune disorders. These conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, involve the patients immune system attacking its own healthy body tissue rather than invading external disease agents. Your primary care provider may refer you to a rheumatologist if you experience joint pain, especially if there was no prior injury. If your joint pain is accompanied by fatigue, fever, rash, or stiffness, it could also indicate an inflammatory disorder. Sometimes abnormal blood test results can also indicate a rheumatic illness.
Education And Training Requirements
According to the American College of Rheumatology, before a rheumatologist can start treating patients, they must fulfill the following education and training requirements:
- graduate from a medical school
- complete a residency program
- participate in a rheumatology fellowship
After completing a Rheumatology fellowship program, they must pass a board examination and receive a certificate to practice rheumatology. Rheumatologists must also participate in continuing education courses throughout their careers.
A rheumatologist can choose to treat specific rheumatic conditions or narrow their focus to a particular area, or subspecialty, within rheumatology.
in the field of rheumatology include:
- autoimmune and inflammatory conditions
Rheumatologists perform examinations and procedures that help them diagnose and treat rheumatic conditions.
These procedures include:
You May Like: Is Arthritis Curable
It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
You want to stay active and avoid pain, right? Then dont delay seeking treatment for joint problems likeosteoarthritis. Your doctor can help you avoid permanent joint damage and other serious health issues.
So, what joint symptoms are a sign for you to call your doctor for an evaluation?
Do You Need To See An Orthopedic Physician Or A Rheumatologist
Patients should use the guidelines below to help determine if they should choose an orthopedic physician or rheumatologist for their arthritis and joint pain.
Patients might need an orthopedic physician if they have:
- Joint or musculoskeletal pain that began after an injury
- Gradually progressive hip or knee pain that is worse with weight bearing
- Joint pain that is severe and interfering with function
- Moderate or advanced arthritis of the knee or hip
- Previous unsuccessful treatment for joint pain
- Been told by their doctor they might need a joint replacement
Patients might need a rheumatologist if they have:
- Pain involving many joints
- New joint pain not associated with any injury
- Joint or musculoskeletal pain associated with morning stiffness, fever, fatigue, rash or chest pain
- Joint pain that followed a tick bite
- Joint pain associated with back pain
- Joint pain and psoriasis
- Muscular pain with or without any other symptoms
- New headaches or muscle aches and are over the age of 50
- Back pain with or without pain in the legs
- Unexplained, ongoing symptoms such as fever, sweats or weight loss
A patients’ medical needs are important and unique, that is why UMass Memorial Medical Center offers specialty trained physicians that have devoted their education and career to treating specific medical conditions to serve you.
Also Check: What Does Arthritis Come From
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.
What To Expect At A First Visit
A routine appointment with a rheumatologist varies depending on the condition or complaint they are helping to treat. A standard appointment may include a rheumatologist:
- reviewing a persons medical and family histories as well as the results of any previous testing or laboratory work
- performing a physical exam to look for any signs of systemic inflammation
- evaluating posture, movement, and flexibility
- examining any specific joints, muscles, or bones that feel swollen, stiff, or painful
- ordering blood work or other laboratory tests, such as an X-ray or MRI scan, to provide clinical diagnosis
- making treatment recommendations, or waiting to review the lab work before recommending medications or physical therapy
- providing a clinical outlook, plans of care, and short- and long-term goals
- recommending self-management tips and home exercises
Don’t Miss: Ra Hand Pain Relief
Types Of Doctors From A To Z
Audiologist – This is a doctor who handles problems with hearing. These doctors also help hearing impaired children learn to communicate.
Allergist – This is a doctor who helps with allergies. Any allergies you may have, such as, hay fever or asthma, will be checked out by this doctor.
Andrologists – An andrologist is a specialist doctor that helps in diagnosing and treating male reproductive system disorders.
Anesthesiologist – This is the doctor that helps you to sleep through painful operations and medical diagnoses. They are responsible for administering the anesthesia and are present during surgeries to help in complications arising from anesthesia medications.
Cardiologist – A cardiologist is certified to treat any problem dealing with heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular Surgeon – This doctor carries out surgical and invasive techniques dealing with cardiovascular diseases.
Clinical Neurophysiologist – This is a doctor that diagnoses any problem dealing with the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system with the aid of electrophysiological tests.
Dentist – Any dental problem from tooth decay to dentures to retainers are handled by a dentist. They also treat any gum diseases and oral defects.
Dermatologist – This is a doctor that treats any ailment related to the skin and its appendages such as hair, nails, etc.
Endocrinologist – Thyroid problems, hormone problems or any problems with the endocrine system is handled by an endocrinologist.
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.
Recommended Reading: Ra Pain In Hands
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Joint Hand Pain
Asked by Michael
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Joint Hand Pain
I have developed a problem with my left wrist and thumb, the problem has been going on for 2 months and per my PCP I have been using aspercreame and a wrist brace. The two treatments help but I can only use the wrist brace at night.
The last time I spoke with my PCP about this he recommended that if the aspercream and wrist brace did not clear up the problem that I should see a specialist.
The question is, what kind of specialist should I see?
When Should I See A Doctor For Arthritis Pain
- you experience prolonged joint pain
- the joint has become swollen
- the joint looks red, feels hot, or is tender to the touch
- the joint pain is bothersome and increasing, in spite of attempts at self-care
- you feel that you are less and less able to move without pain
- you are running a fever and the pain in the joints is increasing in severity
- you have morning stiffness in your joint or joints
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
Don’t Miss: Pain Relief For 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.
Isometric Exercises For Better Arthritis Health
Isometric exercises are strength-training workouts in which the muscles contract, but the body doesnt move. Isometrics involves tensing a muscle, then relaxing it. This type of training is especially useful if the usual weight lifting causes your joints to hurt.
Some advantages of isometrics include:
- No need for additional equipment
- The body is activating nearly all of its available motor units
- Increased strength
- Improved flexibility
Isometric exercises are beneficial because they can help you stay strong and healthy. While these exercises are less likely to hurt your joints than traditional weight training, if they do make your joints hurt, ask a trainer to show you another type of isometric exercise.
Also Check: Managing Arthritis Pain In Hands
What Are The Risk Factors For Osteoarthritis/arthritis
Although certain risk factors for arthritis cannot be controlled, such as age, biological sex, and genetically-inherited traits, leading a healthy, active lifestyle and managing your weight can help prevent the development of many forms of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis and arthritis risk factors include:
- Older age –
- Being female
When To See A Rheumatologist
Do ask about seeing a rheumatologist if you:
- Have joint pain that doesnt get better or involves multiple joints
- Have joint pain and you have close relatives with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or other inflammatory disorders
- Have joint pain and you have a close relative with psoriasis, even if they never had arthritis
- Have joint pain accompanied by symptoms such as fever, overwhelming fatigue, weight loss, or malaise
Dont put off seeing a rheumatologist because you:
- Arent in much pain. The amount of pain doesnt necessarily predict who will have rheumatoid arthritis. Some people mostly have stiffness and not much pain, but if there is joint swelling its important to be evaluated, says Dr. Fraenkel.
- Are scared of taking medication. Some people are afraid a rheumatologist will prescribe something they dont want to take. That should not defer you from seeking the referral. If a patient is reluctant to take a medication, there is always a treatment plan we can come up with that they will be comfortable with, Dr. Fraenkel says.
Read Also: Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis In Hands
Whats The Difference Between A Rheumatologist And An Orthopedist
Rheumatologists and orthopedists both treat rheumatic diseases, but in different ways.
Generally speaking, rheumatologists treat rheumatic diseases with nonsurgical interventions, whereas orthopedists perform surgeries to improve function and quality of life.
You may want to see an orthopedist if you:
- have joint or musculoskeletal pain related to an injury
- have hip or knee pain that gets worse when you put weight on these joints
- have severe joint pain that interferes with your day-to-day life
- have moderate or advanced arthritis in your hips or knees
- have joint pain that hasnt responded to previous treatment
- need a joint replacement
A good rule of thumb: Unless you have suffered a traumatic injury that requires surgery, see a rheumatologist before you consult an orthopedist.
Consider Learning More About Medical Marijuana
If you grew up in the just say no era, you might be hesitant to try this remedy, but it may help RA patients, says Jordan Tishler, MD, a Harvard-trained emergency medicine physician and founder of InhaleMD. There are certain types of cannabis specifically grown for medicinal purposes that might help treat the pain of RA pain, he says.
I have seen improvements for patients in pain control, stiffness, and increased mobility with cannabis, he says. Most importantly, I have seen significant improvement in reported quality of life., and according to a new Medscape poll, 80 percent of health care providers say it should legalized nationally.
If you are interested in trying cannabis and its legal in your state, talk to your doctor or another provider whos experienced in this area. There are many different strains of the plant, and cannabis products contain varying ratios of the active ingredients CBD to THC . Its important to remember that cannabis can interact with other medications you may take or affect other health conditions you have, so make sure to talk to your doctor before you explore this option.
You May Like: Home Remedy For Arthritis Pain In Hands