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Ask the Experts
Rheumatology is a subspecialty in internal medicine and pediatrics that deals with the joints, soft tissues, autoimmune diseases and heritable connective tissue disorders.
A rheumatologist specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and therapy of the rheumatic diseases.
Symptoms of Rheumatology
The following are the most common symptoms of rheumatic diseases.
- Joint pain.
- Swelling in a joint or joints.
- limited range of motion.
- Chronic pain or tenderness in a joint or joints.
- Warmth and redness in the joint area.
- Limited movement in the affected joint or joints.
- Tiredness (fatigue).
Causes & Effects
In many cases, the cause depends on the type of rheumatic disease. But researchers believe that some or all of the following may play a role:
- Genes and family history.
- Lifestyle choices such as being overweight.
- Nervous system problems.
- Metabolic problems.
- Too much wear and tear and stress on a joint or joints.
- Certain hormones.
A rheumatologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating arthritis, other complex musculoskeletal conditions and autoimmune diseases. There are more than 200 distinct rheumatic conditions that can affect the joints, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues throughout the body.
Rheumatologists are internists with special skills and training in the complex diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and rheumatic illnesses and much, much more. They treat patients with pain and disorders of the joints, muscles, tendons, bones and other connective tissues.
The doctor will want to check your blood and other fluids. They'll also probably take images of your joints. The doctor may use a needle to take blood or joint fluid while you're in the office. Or they might send you to a lab for these tests
Simply being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis does not qualify you for disability. However, if your ability to work is greatly affected or impaired by your condition, then with the proper documentation, you may be entitled to SSA disability benefits.
This is a chronic disease, and it’s best to find multiple ways of reducing RA discomfort and slowing its progression.
- Sleep- Getting enough sleep is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for those with RA. A 2018 study suggested that poor sleep quality influences levels of pain and your ability to move.
- Exercise- Brisk walking, swimming, and water aerobics are usually good low-impact choices. Resistance training, such as using resistance bands, also help strengthen your muscles.
- Acupuncture- Acupuncture is a common treatment in traditional Chinese medicine to help relieve pain. It uses thin needles to stimulate certain points on the body.
- Massage- Massage can be done by a trained therapist, a family member, or by yourself, and may improve RA symptoms.
- Mindfulness- Practicing mindfulness may help people with RA relax and cope better with pain and other symptoms. One technique, mindfulness meditation, involves being aware of your thoughts, emotions, and breathing.