Rheumatology is a sub-speciality of internal medicine and pediatrics. It involves diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic diseases. Clinicians who specialize in rheumatology are called rheumatologists. Rheumatologists deal with clinical problems involving joints, soft tissues, autoimmune diseases, vasculities and heritable connective tissue disorders.
Rheumatism is a painful disorder affecting the loco-motor system, including joints, muscles, connective tissues, soft tissues around the joints and bones. The term rheumatism is also used to describe rheumatic fever affecting heart valves. Rheumatological disorders involve rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Rheumatologists treat arthritis, autoimmune diseases, pain disorders affecting joints and osteoporosis. There are more than 200 types of these diseases, including rheumatoid arthiritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, back pain, osteoporosis and tendonitis. This speciality is interrelated with physiotherapy, physical medicine and rehabilitation of disabled patients.
Diseases diagnosed or managed by the Rheumatologist include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Reactive arthritis
- Psoriatic arthropathy
- Enteropathic spondylitis
- Septic arthritis
- Low back pain
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow