Rheumatology is the specialty of medicine that deals with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, gout and lupus.
Swelling of joints and chronic pain are some of the commonly identified symptoms associated with rheumatologic diseases.
Degenerative joint and bone disease can cause painful symptoms. The rheumatologist's objective is to reduce the inflammation and slow the disease processes that cause these painful conditions.
Many types of rheumatic diseases are not easily identified in the early stages. Rheumatologists are specially trained to do the detective work necessary to determine the cause of swelling and pain. It is important to determine a correct diagnosis early so that appropriate treatment can begin. Some disorders respond best to treatment in the early stages of the disease.
Because some rheumatic diseases are complex, you may need more than one visit to a rheumatologist to determine a diagnosis and course of treatment. These diseases often change or evolve over time. Rheumatologists work closely with patients to identify the problem and design an individualized treatment program.