Rheumatologists are specialists. They have chosen to focus on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and systemic autoimmune conditions. In general, these conditions cause pain swelling and deformity of joints, muscles and bones.
When should you see a rheumatologist?
A rheumatology specialist will get involved in your treatment if you have joint or muscles pain that does not resolve in a conventional manner. You may get a referral to a rheumatologist earlier if you have a family history of autoimmune conditions.
A rheumatologist can help to find the underlying cause of pain and swelling you may be experiencing. You may find that taking some medications temporarily improve your symptoms. This may make you decide to put off seeing a specialist. This can be dangerous as the underlying issues will still be there and can lead to permanent damage. If you have any concerns, then you should see a rheumatologist as soon as possible.
What conditions do rheumatologists treat?
Rheumatology specialists treat a wide range of conditions. Some of the more common ones include osteoarthritis, gout rheumatoid arthritis lupus, and chronic back pain.
What will a rheumatologist do during the appointment?
Many rheumatic conditions are highly complex and can be challenging to diagnose correctly. For this reason, your rheumatologist will probably take a detailed medical history along with a family history. A physical exam will help your doctor to identify where you have swelling and inflammation. If necessary they may send you for scans, such as MRIs or CT scans.
Once your doctor has all the information that they need, they will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will help you to manage your condition. This may include a combination of medications and physiotherapy.
Where to find a rheumatologist?
If you live in the Chelsea area and think you would benefit from seeing a specialist rheumatologist, then make an appointment today. Dr Stephanie Barrett is based in Chelsea and can use her expertise to help you improve your quality of life.