Q) What is Rheumatism?  

A) Rheumatism is a popular term for Chronic Pain that applies to a variety of diseases that cause pain, stiffness and limitation of motion of joints, bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles. 

Q) Who is a Rheumatologist? 

A) A Rheumatologist is a specialist in treating the musculoskeletal disease (muscle, bone, joint specialist) .The role of the rheumatologist is to diagnose, treat and medically manage patients with Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. 

Q) What is the difference between a Rheumatologist and an Orthopaedic Surgeon? 

A) A Rheumatologist is a specialist trained to diagnose, treat and manage various types of musculoskeletal problems. Surgeons who specialise in surgery of bones/joints are called orthopaedic surgeons.

Q) What do Rheumatologist treat? 

A) Rheumatologists treat all forms of Arthritis, autoimmune disease, musculoskeletal pain disorders and osteoporosis. There are 100 types of those diseases, including Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout, Lupus, Back Pain, Osteoporosis, Fibromyalgia and Tendonitis. Some of those are very serious diseases that can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

Q) When should a patient consult a Rheumatologist?

A) If the person is suffering from any of the below symptoms, he/she might behaving Rheumatic Diseases.

  1. Joint Pains and Swellings
  2. Severe Point Pains and Stiffness in the morning.
  3. Severe back pain and Stiffness in the morning.
  4. Unexplained generalised body pains.
  5. Recurrent mouth ulcers/hair loss.
  6. Dryness of mouth/eyes, red rashes on cheeks.
  7. Recurrent heel pains.
  8. Prolonged unexplained fever after detailed work up by physicians.
  9. Wounds on skin not healing over a period of time, suspected to be due tovasculitis refereed by a surgeon/physician.
  10. Persistent problems regarding abortions referred after primary workup by aGynaecologist.
  11. Recurrent uveitis after primary work up by an Ophthalmologist.
  12. Unexplained pulmonary renal syndromes at primary care level. 

Q) Cause of Arthritis? 

A) Determining the cause of Arthritis can be difficult, because often several factors such as age, illness or infection, body weight, previous injury etc. contribute to an individual developing this problem. 

Q) Why me? Nobody in my family has it? 

A) There is a common misconception amongst people that arthritis runs in the family. This is always not true. It often arises sporadically without any family history. 

Q) Any Diet medication/restrictions? 

A) There is no scientific basis regarding food causing Arthritis, except gout, where patients are advised to have low purine diet and avoid alcohol, red meat , beans, mushroom etc. So No diet changes are required for most of these patients. 

Q) Does the climate influence Arthritis? 

A) Some patients find their Arthritis worsening in cold weather, while others during the rainy season. However, temperature/climate does not influence the course of Arthritis. 

Q) Can I walk, exercise, jog, or practice Yoga? 

A) Most Arthritis patients can walk, exercise or jog within reasonable limits. Yoga, in general, doesn’t ham Arthritis patients and can be carried along with other medicines. However, certain Yogic postures can be avoided as they may put excessive strain on the joints. It is best to consult a physiotherapist for this purpose. 

Q) Is Arthritis treatable? 

A) Yes, at present, there is treatment for the symptoms of Arthritis that help in managing pain and joint damage. These involve dietary changes, drugs, and in some cases exercise.