1. Who is a rheumatologist?
A rheumatologist may be an internal medicine physician or a paediatrician who is further specialized to diagnose and treat muscular, joints or autoimmune diseases similar to rheumatoid arthritis.
2. What diseases does a rheumatologist treat?
A rheumatologist can treat diseases like gout, osteoarthritis, chronic back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, spondyloarthropathies, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus.
3. What are the symptoms for which you need to see a rheumatologist?
You can see a rheumatologist for symptoms like back pain, joint pain, rashes, swelling in joints, itching or dry mouth, repeated fevers, bruising over skin, stiffness in joints or back, etc.
4. Is a rheumatologist, and an orthopaedic doctor the same?
No, an orthopaedic doctor can only treat joint and bones related problems. However, a rheumatologist in addition to musculoskeletal diseases also treats unexplained fever, rashes and systemic autoimmune disorders.
5. Does a rheumatologist treat bone cancer?
A rheumatologist is only specialized in non-surgical treatments. Bone cancer can be treated by an orthopaedic surgeon.
Rheumatology is a branch of medicine which encompasses non surgical treatment and diagnosis of rheumatic diseases i.e. systemic autoimmune conditions and musculoskeletal diseases particularly arthritis. The physicians with formal training in rheumatology are referred to as rheumatologists.
Ideally, you should visit a rheumatologist in case you suffer from conditions such as unexplained rashes, joint or muscle pain, anaemia, weakness, arthritis or any kind symptoms relating to autoimmune disease. Correct diagnosis at an early stage helps to receive appropriate treatment and prevent worsening of a disease. Rheumatologists also treat auto-immune illnesses such as Lupus, Vasculitis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
There are no sub specialties of Rheumatology. Rheumatologists work in close coordination with orthopaedists to generate desired outcomes while treating an illness.
In order to become a Rheumatologist, a person first has to complete his 5 and a half years of the MBBS degree. After this they have to complete 2- 3 year post graduate MD degree in medicine with Rheumatology as a branch of Internal Medicine. It is hugely vital that a good rheumatologist attends short follow up courses as well as workshops in order to keep abreast with latest techniques in the field.
There are several factors which have augmented incidence of arthritis leading to spike in demand for rheumatologists such as stress, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle, monotonous work system and certain genetic causes.
Osteoarthritis cannot be cured completely. Joint changes are mostly irreversible but a rheumatologist will detect your problem and prescribe treatment to manage your condition so that pain reduces and body functions improve.
Rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in treatment of Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition which affects muscles and bones.
The rheumatologist will first try to recognize your problem considering your personal health history. Then after doing a series of physical examinations of the problem area and prescribing some tests, they will then prescribe the treatment
No, rheumatologists do not perform surgical procedures.
The consultation fees of a rheumatologist usually begin at Rs 600.
Hot and cold therapy Rs 500-Rs 3000
Assistive Devices Rs5000-Rs 15,000
Exercise Sessions Rs 5,00- Rs3,000 per session
Rheumatologists offer treatment to different conditions. The most common treatments provided by a rheumatologist are:
Administering pain and anti-inflammatory medication– The patient is prescribed analgesics, Non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Hyaluronic Acid and Corticosteroids to manage their condition.
Physical and Occupational Therapy– Different pain management treatments are offered to the patient such as heat and cold therapies etc.
Targeted Therapy– If medications such as NSAIDs do not offer relief doctors opt for targeted therapy in which a drug named Benlysta is given by infusion or injection.
Exercise and Lifestyle changes– Most of the patients suffering from Rheumatic diseases are suggested to follow regular exercise pattern and avoid sedentary lifestyle
Braces, splints and assistive devices to bolster weak joints