What You Need to Know About Rheumatology

What You Need to Know About Rheumatology
September 23 13:43 2017 Print This Article

Rheumatology is the medical specialty in diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases affect the joints and the muscles; some of these diseases include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


If you’re diagnosed with osteoarthritis, that means that your cartilage is damaged. Damaged cartilage wears down, making the joints hurt and difficult to move. The symptoms are pain, swelling, stiffness, and warmth in the hips, lower back, fingers, knees, neck, or feet. With osteoarthritis, regular tasks, such as combing hair, walking, or gripping, can become difficult to do.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

With rheumatoid arthritis, the joints become painful and swollen because the tissues are being attacked by the immune system. With this rheumatic disease, multiple joints can be swollen and in pain at the same time. The eyes and lungs begin having issues as well, and lumps, known as rheumatoid nodules, can develop.

How Are Rheumatoid Diseases Diagnosed and Treated?

If you think you may have osteoarthritis, it is important to visit a clinic. Dedication Health offers 24/7 access to physicians and on-site labs where a diagnosis can be made. In order to make sure you have osteoarthritis; a series of exams are performed. Fluid from affected joints is taken, and blood tests are performed during this process. Usually, an X-ray is also used to see what joints osteoarthritis has affected. The X-ray might show bone spurs that are be present or narrowing of joint space. Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed the same way. You will need blood tests, X-rays, and samples of the joint fluid.

The treatment for osteoarthritis includes a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, a narcotic, a dietary supplement, and an analgesic. Also included in treatment is physical therapy, acupuncture, stretching, and exercise; in some cases, arthroscopy and joint replacement might be needed.

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis includes physiotherapy and medication for pain relief in order to slow down the progression of this disease. Such medication includes a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. With very severe rheumatoid arthritis, corticosteroid medications are used to slow down joint damage and for inflammation and pain relief.

A disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug is also used in order to slow down the progression of the disease and to save the joints and tissues from permanent damage. Another treatment also included for rheumatoid arthritis is physical therapy, which keeps the joints flexible. In some cases, surgery is needed in order to repair the damaged joints.

Your physician can properly diagnose rheumatology and treat you if you are in beginner or advanced stages of a rheumatoid disease.

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Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams

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