Rheumatology is the study, diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of rheumatic diseases, or diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system, veins, soft tissues and joints. A rheumatologist in NYC also treats autoimmune diseases associated with bones and joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, osteoporosis and spondylitis.
Other conditions treated by rheumatologists include:
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Kawasaki’s disease
- Lumbar back pain
- Tennis/golfer’s elbow
- Elbow bursitis
Rheumatologist address musculoskeletal and autoimmune symptoms non-surgically. The following is a general list of treatment methods commonly prescribed by a rheumatologist for patients suffering one or more rheumatic diseases:
By blocking activity of an inflammatory enzyme called cycloxygenase (COX), NSAIDs such as naproxen sodium, ibuprofen and COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex) can significantly reduce pain caused by a rheumatic disease. However, long-term use of NSAIDs should be monitored continuously by a rheumatologist in Jersey City, since NSAIDs may possibly increase blood pressure, cause fluid retention and irritate the stomach.
Closely resembling an adrenal gland hormone called cortisol, corticosteroids (steroids) suppress the immune system response to inflammation, which results in a reduction of swelling and pain in joints and tissues. Currently, the most widely prescribed corticosteroid for treating rheumatic conditions is Prednisone, available as a tablet, liquid or delayed release tablet. Side-effects may occur when taking a corticosteroid, especially edema, weight gain from increased appetite and moodiness. Long-term use of a corticosteroid may promote osteoporosis, hypertension and pre-diabetes. Your rheumatologist in NYC will explain the all benefits and risks of taking corticosteroids for rheumatic conditions if you are prescribed them.
Usually prescribed for different kinds of inflammatory arthritis, DMARDs change the way your immune system “attacks” joints affected by arthritis. This works to decrease inflammation, pain and progression of joint damage. Since the benefits of DMARDs are not typically seen for weeks or months, they are mainly prescribed to people with chronic diseases.
Biologic response modifiers are genetically engineered from proteins, genes or viruses for the purpose of stimulating your body’s response to infection. Biologics interfere with normal immune system functioning by obstructing inflammatory pathways and acting on cytokines, a set of molecules associated with systemic inflammation. In addition to slowing down the progression of joint damage, biologics are typically prescribed to people with chronic diseases (especially those with rheumatoid arthritis) who have not responded favorably to DMARD therapy.
To correctly diagnose a rheumatic condition, a rheumatologist will examine your complete medical history (including family medical history) and perform a thorough physical examination. Additionally, your rheumatologist will evaluate the results of any tests you previously had done and may also order more tests, such as x-rays, CT scans or MRIs.
By combining this information and carefully reviewing all test results, a rheumatologist can then make a diagnosis and create a personalized treatment plan to address your particular condition.
Learn more what a rheumatologist can do to improve your health, schedule a consultation with a rheumatologist in New York City by calling Regional Orthopedic today.