Rheumatology is the profession that deals with conditions affecting the connective tissue and the musculoskeletal system, including conditions such as arthritis, autoimmune connective tissues disorders such as Lupus, muscle and tendon disorders and musculoskeletal pains.
The word Rheumatology comes from the Greek word ‘rheuma’ which means "a substance that flows".
There are over 120 rheumatic / musculoskeletal disorders.
A Rheumatologist is a physician who specialises in the field of Rheumatology. They have done many years of study and work to become a physician and then they have done more years of work and study in this particular field to specialise in this field. A Rheumatologist is always undergoing continuous learning to stay up to date with the latest treatments and understanding of illness and disease.
A medical science devoted to the study of rheumatic diseases & musculoskeletal disorders.
These conditions can include what are called ‘autoimmune connective tissue disorders’ such as Lupus, but also include conditions more generally affecting the joints or muscles, such as arthritis, or myositis as well as general musculoskeletal pain syndromes such as shoulder, knee, hip and back pain.
A Rheumatologist treats a lot of conditions. A Rheumatologist is often a diagnostic expert as they look at the body as a whole, and not just one organ. Rheumatologists are often asked to see people who are ill for no obvious reason to see if there is perhaps an autoimmune connective tissue condition that is affecting them.
There are specific conditions that Rheumatologists are experts in diagnosing and treating:
- There are many forms of arthritis, which is a condition affecting the joints of the body.
- The most common forms of arthritis are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Gout.
- Other types of arthritis include: Psoriatic arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Reactive arthritis and Seronegative Arthritis.
- Autoimmune diseases (also known as Connective Tissue Diseases)
- Back Pain
- Behcet’s Disease
In Rheumatology, there are specific drugs that we use to treat Rheumatological conditions. We provide information pamphlets about your drugs from reliable sources. It is an important part of managing illness and disease to empower ourselves to know about the medications that we are on.
Its important that you read these documents before taking the medications and make sure that you are fully informed and have had all of your questions answered about the medications before starting them. If you have any further questions I suggest speaking with your Rheumatologist about them.