A rheumatologist is a physician with specialized training in rheumatology. This medical specialty deals with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions in patients of all ages.
What does a rheumatologist do?
Rheumatologists diagnose and manage a wide range of conditions which include inflammatory disorders affecting joints and muscles, connective tissue diseases which involve joints as well as other organs in the body and autoimmune diseases that occur due to the immune system targeting healthy tissue.
When should you see a rheumatologist?
- Joint pains – especially when it lasts several weeks and affects daily activities
- Low back pain – when it is associated with prolonged early morning stiffness, difficulty in turning in bed, joint pains, chest pain, heel pain etc
- Recurrent symptoms – when recurrent symptoms like fever, joint pain, rashes, photo sensitivity, hair loss, excessive dryness of eyes and mouth, oral ulcers etc occur, it may signify an underlying connective tissue disease.
- Muscle pain – associated with stiffness, weakness or rash.
- Recurrent abortions – may be associated with history of clots in blood vessels.
- Abnormal blood tests – increased ESR and CRP, RF positive, ANA positive
- Pains in elderly – especially shoulder and hip pains along with headache, knee pain.
If you experience any symptoms, please consult the best rheumatologist in Dubai.
What are the common conditions treated by rheumatologist?
- Ankylosing spondylitis and other spondyloarthropathies
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Autoinflammatory diseases
- Behcet’s disease
- Gout and pseudogout
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Palindromic rheumatism
- Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)
- Polymyositis or dermatomyositis
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Any arthritis
What should I expect when I see a rheumatologist?
- A rheumatologist would take a detailed history of your symptoms along with clinical examination. You may also be required to do some blood tests like blood counts, inflammatory markers (ESR and CRP), immunology tests (RF, ANA etc) as well as imaging like X ray, USG and MRI.
Aster Clinics is one of the best rheumatology clinics in Dubai.
What types of treatments might I need?
Depending on your condition you might require treatment with
- Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
- Disease modifying agents (DMARDS).
- Joint injections.
Your may also require periodic testing and monitoring. Many rheumatic conditions change over time and would need assessment and change of treatment plan.
Always choose the best rheumatology treatment in Dubai.
What is the difference between a rheumatologist and an orthopaedician?
Orthopaedicians and rheumatologists both see patients with symptoms relating to bone and joints. However, there are a few differences between these medical specialties.
Rheumatologists consider every organ system when looking for the cause of your symptoms. An orthopaedician focuses on injuries, congenital disease and wear and tear (degenerative conditions). Also, orthopaedicians perform surgery, but rheumatologists do not. While both rheumatologists and orthopaedists help diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions, rheumatologists have specialized training in musculoskeletal conditions of an inflammatory and autoimmune etiology.
Rheumatologists treats conditions which are often complex, life long and which require a personalized treatment plan. Delay in treatment of many rheumatic conditions can result in permanent joint and organ damage. That’s why it’s important to see a rheumatologist.
Dr. Anuja Rajan
Aster Clinic, Discovery Gardens (Zen Cluster)
Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai (AJMC, Bank St.)