A rheumatologist is a specialist in internal medicine and medical orthopedics as well as multi-system diseases that typically involve the joints. A rheumatologist is also a specialist in joint pain syndrome such as arthritis, tendonitis and bursitis. Rheumatologists are adequately trained to be your specialist for back pain, knee pain and shoulder as well as your specialist for Lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome, Scleroderma, Vasculitis, Wagener's, PMR/GCA, Gout, other Gout-like disease referred to generically as crystals. Rheumatologists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and manage pain in both old and young people, pain due to use and over-use as well as pain due to inflammation.
An experienced, well-trained Rheumatologist is the place to start. There are so many types of arthritis and conditions that affect the joints, diagnosis can be tricky. Arthritis refers to a problem involving the joint as opposed to tendonitis which involves the tendon or bursitis which involves the bursa. Arthritis starts in many ways and can be difficult to recognize. It can come on slowly and be mild, or it can start suddenly with intense pain. The signs and symptoms may come and go over time. Classic symptoms are joint pain, swelling and stiffness, but arthritis may first cause health problems that seem unrelated, like fatigue or a rash. Early signs of arthritis might be mistaken for an injury or the result of “too much” activity. Arthritis might seem simple but it’s really not, there are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. The Rheumatologist can determine which one you have and offer the proper treatment.
A rheumatologist is one of the main specialist that diagnosis, treats and outlines planning in a diagnosis of Osteoporosis or bone loss. Rheumatologist the mass majority in research in this field and are very qualified to handle your needs. Rheumatologist are the most qualified physicians to handle sports medicine and occupational medicine. The reason being; statistically 97 to 98% of all injuries on the job or in the sports arena do not require surgery. Thus a rheumatologist who is a specialist of the musculoskeletal system would be the most adapted providing conservative care.
Rheumatologist is the best source for second opinions on whether or not you need joint replacement surgery or other joint surgery. As rheumatologist do not operate on joints, the look for ways to help you and give you all your options prior to getting cut. They may find alternatives that work better then being operated on.