Rheumatologists: What do they do and what does a Rheumatology Doctor Treat?

What does a rheumatology doctor treat? Rheumatologists are doctors who treat conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and bones. They also treat conditions that affect the immune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Rheumatologists use a variety of diagnostic tests to assess a patient’s condition. These tests can help them determine the best course of treatment. In some cases, rheumatologists may also refer patients to other specialists, such as orthopedists or neurologists.

Many Rheumatology Medical Billing and Coding Services work with insurance companies to ensure that rheumatologists get the reimbursement they deserve for the services they provide. Rheumatology medical billing and coding services is a process by which insurance companies are able to reimburse rheumatologists for the care they provide to their patients. The process of medical billing and coding can be complex, and it is important to have a firm understanding of how it works in order to get the most accurate reimbursement possible. Outsourcing your rheumatology medical billing and coding to a professional service can save you time and money, and ensure that you are able to get the most accurate reimbursement for the care you provide.

Who is a Rheumatologist?

If you have a rheumatic disorder, your primary care doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist. Rheumatologists can provide you with a comprehensive plan of care that may include medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.

A rheumatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases are conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and bones. They can also affect other body systems, including the lungs, heart, and skin.

What does a Rheumatology doctor treat?

what does a rheumatology doctor treat

Rheumatologists play an important role in the management of rheumatic diseases. They are often involved in research to find new and better treatments and health solutions for sufferers.

Diseases that a rheumatologist treats include;

Inherited and complex disorders

  • Osteoporosis
  • Beçhet’s disease.
  • Rheumatic fever.
  • Psoriatic arthritis.
  • Scleroderma.
  • Sarcoidosis.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Sjögren’s syndrome.

Tendon issues

  • Tennis elbow.
  • Achilles tendinitis.
  • Patellar tendonitis.
  • De Quervain’s tendinosis.
  • Rotator cuff issues.

Joint problems

  • Gout
  • Bursitis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis

Muscle conditions

  • Myopathies.
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
  • Myasthenia gravis.
  • Rhabdomyolysis.
  • Polymyositis.

Once a rheumatologist has diagnosed a rheumatic disease, they will work with the patient to develop a treatment plan. Treatment plans can vary depending on the type and severity of the disease. In some cases, medication may be prescribed. In other cases, physical therapy may be recommended. In extreme cases, a surgical procedure may be necessary.

Difference between a Rheumatologist vs. An Orthopedist?

There are many differences between rheumatologists and orthopedists, but the two main differences are their focus and their training. Rheumatologists focus on the treatment of conditions that affect the joints and muscles, while orthopedists focus on the treatment of conditions that affect the bones. Both rheumatologists and orthopedists complete four years of medical school, but rheumatologists complete an additional three years of training in rheumatology, while orthopedists complete an additional five years of training in orthopedics.

A rheumatologist targets the organ directly when it comes to treating the symptoms to know the cause behind the suffering. While an orthopedic physician targets injuries, degenerative conditions, and congenital diseases. In addition, the main difference is performing surgeries as orthopedic can carry out surgery while rheumatologists do not.

Besides, both orthopedic and rheumatologists can diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions under autoimmune and inflammatory etiology.

Required Qualifications for becoming a Rheumatologist

Rheumatologists often receive additional training in immunology, which is the study of the immune system. Rheumatologists typically complete four years of osteopathic education (DO, or doctor of osteopathy degree) or medical school (MD or a doctor of medicine degree) followed by a three-year residency in rheumatology. Osteopathic doctors also go through a holistic approach to consider an individual’s mind, spirit, and body.

Some rheumatologists may also complete a fellowship, which is an additional year of training. After completing their training, rheumatologists must obtain a license to practice medicine. Rheumatologists undergo extensive medical training.

Rheumatologists become board certified after going through a tough exam where they need to demonstrate their learning and knowledge. Rheumatologists must also undergo a range of ongoing education courses to continue flourishing in their field and get to know the new updates about their rheumatology.

Reasons to visit a Rheumatologist?

There are many reasons to see a rheumatologist, but the most common reason is for the treatment of arthritis. Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints. A rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Other reasons to see a rheumatologist include the treatment of lupus, gout, and other inflammatory disorders. Rheumatologists also treat patients with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and Sjögren’s syndrome. If you have a history of these conditions, or if you are experiencing unexplained joint pain or stiffness, you should make an appointment to see a rheumatologist.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid disease contain;

  • Dry eyes
  • Dermatitis
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Inflammation in the lung lining
  • Swelling
  • Hair loss (alopecia).
  • Swollen lymph nodes.

Rheumatic conditions can be difficult to diagnose, so it’s important to see a doctor who specializes in these diseases. A rheumatologist can order tests and make a proper diagnosis. They can also prescribe medication and provide guidance on how to manage your condition.

How to Prepare for a Rheumatologist Appointment?

If you suspect you have arthritis or another rheumatic condition, your regular doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist is a healthcare provider, specializing in the treatment and diagnosis of rheumatic diseases. If you have just been exposed to rheumatic diseases and you are to visit a rheumatologist for the first time, it might take weeks to get an appointment. Meanwhile, you may be wondering how to prepare for your appointment with a rheumatologist. Here are a few tips:

– Make a list of your symptoms and experience while suffering from rheumatologic disease. These may include when the symptoms get started and how often they occur. Writing down the symptoms will help you remember the condition.

– Write down questions you may have for your doctor.

– Bring a copy of your medical history, including any records from previous doctors or tests.

– Ask a family member or friend to come with you to the appointment.

By following these tips, you can help your rheumatologist make an accurate diagnosis and develop the best treatment plan for you.

If you’re living with a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you know how important it is to see a rheumatologist.

What should I expect when I see a Rheumatologist?

If you have been experiencing joint pain, fatigue, or other unexplained symptoms, your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist. Rheumatic diseases can affect the joints, muscles, and connective tissues. Seeing a rheumatologist for the first time can be a bit scary. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what you can expect when you see a rheumatologist for the first time.

The first thing the rheumatologist will do is take a complete medical history. This will include questions about your symptoms, your family history, and your overall health. The rheumatologist will also do a physical examination. This will help to eliminate other conditions that might become the reason for your symptoms.

The evaluation of your diagnostic tests includes;

  • Blood tests to check organ functions
  • Ultrasound, MRI, and CT Scan to review structures and organs
  • Electrocardiogram and other cardiac examination
  • DEXA scan – Bone density test
  • Biopsy of tissues to see the autoimmune disease
  • Lung assessments and Chest X-rays
  • Endoscopy for analyzing gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Electromyogram to evaluate muscle and nerve functioning

After review of all the information, the rheumatologist will discuss their findings with you and develop a treatment plan. This plan may include medication, lifestyle changes, and other therapies. The rheumatologist will also work with you to monitor your progress and adjust the plan as needed.

What Rheumatic treatments are there that I might need?

There can be a range of rheumatic diseases that you may need treatment for. For this, rheumatologists would make a thorough curated treatment plan after evaluating the diagnosis. This plan may include;

  • Occupational therapy.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Joint injections.
  • Immunosuppressive medications.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Referrals to an orthopedic surgeon to repair, assess, or replace affected joints.
  • Corticosteroids
  • Splinting

Your disease may also require frequent monitoring and testing. This is because many times rheumatic diseases progress with time and using certain medications and treatment plans, can bring in the need for reassessing treatment plans and making adjustments accordingly. These touchpoints and re-assessments will make it even easier to make arrangements for therapies prior to getting into discomfort.


Rheumatologists can treat a range of diseases and can bring lifelong changes to rheumatic sufferers. Many conditions in the disease are so complex that they eventually lead to permanent damage to the joints and muscles. This is why a timely checkup by a rheumatologist is essential to evaluate your symptoms and is necessary to treat the disease at an appropriate time.

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