We all experience musculoskeletal pains from time to time due to various reasons, and this is quite common. But if they become severe and persist for more than a few days, you must see the physician. This is especially true for pain in the muscles, joints, neck, and spine. Normally you consult an orthopaedist, but if the symptoms are due to rheumatic diseases, you see a rheumatologist. This is tricky because, in their earlier stages, symptoms of rheumatic diseases are like that of common day ailments. The purpose of this article is to discuss reasons to see a rheumatologist.
Who Is A Rheumatologist?
A rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in the field of rheumatology diseases. They have expertise in autoimmune, as well as musculoskeletal diseases. Also, rheumatic diseases are caused when the immune system attacks normal healthy tissues of the body damaging them, and rheumatoid arthritis is one such condition. Listed below are the major reasons for seeing a rheumatologist.
You Are Diagnosed With Rheumatic Disease Like Arthritis
There are different types of arthritis, and a rheumatologist specializes in many of them. Some of them are rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, osteoarthritis, vasculitis, antiphospholipid syndrome, gout, scleroderma, polymyalgia rheumatica, myositis, sarcoidosis, and temporal arteritis. Also, keep in mind that there are more than 100 types of arthritic conditions.
When You Have A Joint Pain And Swelling
Joint pain and swelling are some of the common symptoms of many rheumatology diseases. Also, it is a well-known fact that earlier detection and treatment ensures reduced damage to joints due to arthritis, and hence results in a better outcome. So, if you are experiencing joint pain and swelling that has been persisting for days, you must consult a rheumatologist at the earliest for proper evaluation.
Abnormal Blood Test Results
For musculoskeletal issues, you usually consult an orthopaedist, and they will evaluate your symptoms or complaints. Based on this, they will ask you to do certain blood tests that help identify the possibility of rheumatic diseases. Some of these tests are antinuclear antibodies (ANA), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and rheumatoid factor (RF). If you are tested positive in any of these tests, the orthopaedist will refer you to a rheumatologist to diagnose for the underlying condition.
To Find Out The Underlying Condition Causing Persistent Musculoskeletal Issues
Many rheumatic diseases are rare and complex, and because of this, they are hard to detect or diagnose. So, multiple test results and medical history of a patient are required. Besides, seeing a rheumatologist helps with the early detection of rheumatology diseases.
We hope that the reasons to see a rheumatologist explained above will be of use to you in your treatment of rheumatic diseases.