Rheumatology is a subspecialty of internal medicine that deals with conditions affecting connective tissues of the body.
What is a Rheumatologist?
A rheumatologist is a specialist physician who has expertise in diagnosing and treating arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions and autoimmune diseases.
Arthritis mainly affects the joints while other musculoskeletal conditions can also affect the joints, bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Autoimmune diseases also commonly affect the musculoskeletal system, but many of the conditions rheumatologists treat may affect the rest of the body, including eyes, skin, internal organs and the nervous system.
There are many diseases that Rheumatologists diagnose and treat, which include are not limited to the following:
How is it diagnosed and treated?
Your rheumatologist is specially trained to do the work necessary to investigate the cause of your symptoms. He or she will usually ask you to explain the history of the problem and will undertake a physical examination. Additional investigations such as blood tests, X-rays and scans may also be needed.
Treatment plans vary from individual to individual depending upon the condition and its severity, but it can range from medication to help reduce inflammation and swelling of joints, occupational or physical therapy, complementary and alternative medicine, or in cases where those treatments are unsuccessful in alleviating or preventing symptoms surgery may be required.
How should I prepare for my Rheumatology appointment?
It is helpful if you keep a record of your symptoms and any health issues that you and your immediate family have experienced in the past. Additionally, please detail any medications or supplements that you are taking, or have taken in the past, to manage this condition.
For further information, including booking of appointments, please contact our friendly medical practice team on (03) 8402 0400.