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What is rheumatology? Well, if you have been diagnosed with arthritis or any issues that affect your bones, muscles or joints, you might have to see a person who specializes in this for a formal diagnosis, tests and specialized therapies that are suited to your specific needs and conditions. In fact, doctors in this field usually handle clinical issues related to connective tissue problems, vasculitis, some autoimmune diseases, soft tissue diseases and joint problems. In essence, rheumatology is the medical science dealing with varied diseases and problems associated with the musculoskeletal system.

Of course this science is fast evolving into other medical areas with some specialists dealing with immunology or varied rheumatological type disorders. Most people who have trained in these areas are highly trained. In fact, they usually treat diseases and conditions related to the following areas:

  • Degenerative type arthropathies – osteoarthritis for example

  • Inflammatory arthropathies – varied arthritis diseases ranging from rheumatoid to septic

  • Systemic and connective tissue conditions/diseases – lupus, polychondritis, vasculitis, etc., to name a few

  • Rheumatism in the soft tissues – tennis elbow, lower back pains, etc.

  • Fibromylgia

  • Bone diseases – rickets, osteoporosis, etc.

  • Familial and congenital disorders that affect your joints – Marfan’s and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, hyperextensible joints, etc.

When you are sent by your family doctor to your local rheumatology department or doctor, you will undergo varied assessments to formally confirm any potential diagnosis that your doctor has suggested. The consultant will analyze your medical history, the flexibility of your joints, undertake joint inspections and use varied screening techniques to help make a final and conclusive diagnosis. These can include:

  • RMSE – testing for inflammation, functions and structures within your joints

  • GMSE – testing of overall joint inflammations

  • SMSE – quick testing of functions and structure within your joints

Rheumatology is a fascinating field of medicine that allows doctors to help people whose joints are either damaged or being damaged by specific diseases or conditions. It also deals with autoimmune diseases and muscle disorders that can affect not just the immediate areas affected, but your whole quality of life. Though they might not yet have cures for many of the diseases and conditions that they treat, rheumatologists are working daily to find answers and solutions to resolve problems associated with your skeleton and muscles, as well as finding better treatments to ease, delay and even stop both painful and non-painful symptoms that you might be experiencing.

One thought on “Rheumatology

  1. When it comes to lower back pain. the best thing you can do is have some very light stretching on the affected area and some pain killers.

    Enjoy your weekend!

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