A rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal diseases and autoimmune conditions known as rheumatic diseases. These diseases cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in your joints, bones, and supporting muscles.
What conditions do rheumatologists treat?
Some of the more common diseases Rheumatologists treat include:
For a more comprehensive list of conditions treated, we recommend contacting your rheumatologist.
What procedures do rheumatologists perform?
Most of the procedures a rheumatologist performs help to alleviate the pain and inflammation you may be experiencing with your body’s connective tissues. Included are procedures that diagnose and treat rheumatic diseases, such as:
To learn the complete list of procedures your rheumatologist performs, we recommend contacting the hospital or clinic where they provide care.
When should I visit a rheumatologist?
If you’re experiencing severe and persistent pain or discomfort in your joints, living with a chronic condition, or having difficulty sleeping or moving around comfortably, you may benefit from a visit to a rheumatologist. It might be time to seek care if any of these symptoms interfere with your ability to live your life comfortably.
What can I expect during my rheumatology appointment?
Your first trip to a rheumatologist will take around an hour to complete. During your visit, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and will want to hear about any symptoms you may be experiencing. After your physical exam, your rheumatologist may recommend lab and imaging tests. Depending on your condition, your doctor may also develop a treatment plan which incorporates a combination of medication, exercise, and dietary lifestyle changes.
What questions should I ask my rheumatologist?
It’s important to show up to your doctor appointment prepared with any questions or concerns you may have about your condition. To help you along, we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked rheumatology questions:
We also encourage you to take notes during your appointment, bring a friend or family member for support, and ask more questions than those we’ve outlined for you.