The medical specialization of rheumatology can be confusing, even to those who are most likely to benefit from its work. Rheumatology is an internal medical specialty that encompasses a wide variety of diseases and conditions that affect the joints, bones, muscles, and soft and connective tissues of the body. Doctors of rheumatology do not perform surgery but instead, focus on diagnosing the underlying cause of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases and conditions.
Adults who have never considered making an appointment to see a rheumatologist may want to reconsider after reading the following information.
When arthritis pain worsens or fails to improve
Whether diagnosed or not, many older adults believe that their joint pain is inevitable and caused by arthritis. But joint pain can be caused by a number of other ailments and should not be automatically attributed to either age or arthritis. In fact, many forms of chronic joint pain are now known to be caused by latent infections, such as those caused by bacteria carried by some types of ticks. If you are suffering joint pain that is not related to an injury or overexertion, making an appointment with a rheumatologist can help you get an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan designed to help you recover fully and live without unnecessary joint pain.
When minor back pain worsens or becomes chronic
Overexertion, falls, or heavy physical labor can all result in a few days of annoying back pain as muscles recover from the strain. However, when adults experience worsening or chronic back pain or when it appears with no known cause, they should consider that the cause is more serious. Working with a rheumatologist can help back pain sufferers find the underlying cause of their pain and develop a proactive plan to successfully address it so they can once again enjoy their lives and activities without experiencing debilitating pain.
When injury recovery progress stalls
Recovering from an injury can be a vastly different process for each patient. While any recovery process is likely to include ups and downs, a recovery process that stalls or begins to regress is often a signal that another problem exists. Injury recovery patients who feel their recovery is not progressing as it should may want to ask for a referral to a rheumatologist for further testing and diagnosis.
To learn more about rheumatology and how this medical specialty could benefit your health or that of a loved one, contact a company like Sarasota Arthritis Center.