If you’ve been noticing achy joints that don’t seem to get better as you might expect, it might be time to see a doctor about the pain. Your family doctor can determine what type of care is needed. If he or she refers you to a rheumatologist, it’s important to know what to expect.
What is Rheumatology?
Rheumatology is the study of conditions that make the joints swell, according to the Cambridge Dictionary. Any medical conditions that fall under this umbrella can be treated by a rheumatologist Memphis. Some of these are caused by chronic autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Others may consist of more acute pain such as tendonitis or tennis elbow. Your rheumatologist will help determine what is causing your pain to help you get on the quickest path toward relief.
What Should You Take With You?
Your rheumatologist will want to see any medical records that you have that are pertinent to your rheumatology complaint. This might include such things as x-rays and laboratory bloodwork. You’ll also need to provide a list of any medications that you take, along with your family history. It’s particularly important to know if others in your family have suffered from autoimmune conditions, as these can be hereditary.
What Happens After the Visit?
Your rheumatologist will take the results of any examinations and tests that are performed to develop a diagnosis for you. This diagnosis may change over time as more information presents itself. A rheumatologist is like a detective who works with whatever information is currently available. You may see your rheumatologist for the rest of your life. Some conditions do not have cures, but many treatments are available to minimize pain and maximize your quality of living.
You don’t have to continue living with pain that you’ve noticed. If you have joint pain that is persistent, work with your doctor to see a rheumatologist who can help you feel better.