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Rheumatology is the branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases. The types of arthritis that affect the tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles of your joints are called rheumatic diseases or musculoskeletal diseases. A rheumatologist is a doctor who provides non-surgical care for rheumatic diseases.
Rheumatologists are trained to diagnose and treat over 100 rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, sarcoidosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, gout, scleroderma, polymyalgia rheumatica, infectious arthritis, etc. Most of these conditions are caused when your body’s immune system starts attacking your cells (autoimmune). Sometimes, it is due to pollution or infection.
The common symptoms of rheumatic diseases are pain, swelling, warmth, and stiffness of the affected joint. If you have such symptoms, which keep coming back, it is best to consult a rheumatologist in-person or through online consultation. The doctor will do a physical examination and might order a few blood tests and x-rays, which will help diagnose your condition. Most rheumatic diseases are treated with analgesics, steroids, DMARDs (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs), monoclonal antibodies (Infliximab and Adalimumab), or Methotrexate.
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