Rheumatology is a subspecialty of medicine that deals with joints, soft tissues – muscles, tendons and ligaments, and autoimmune diseases. This specialty covers various complex diseases known as rheumatic diseases that include arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout and lupus. Many rheumatic diseases are due to disorders of the immune system.

A rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases. Our rheumatologists in Indore offer non-surgical care for these diseases and are actively involved in research to find better treatment options. Rheumatologists are physicians who are specially trained in rheumatology which enables them to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal and autoimmune disorders.

Rheumatic diseases can be classified into the following different types:

  • Inflammatory diseases: Rheumatic diseases caused due to inflammation include arthritis, polychondritis, polymyositis, vasculitis and spondylitis.
  • Auto immune diseases that affect the joints like lupus, sarcoidosis and Sjögren’s syndrome.
  • Metabolic diseases like Vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis and osteomalacia.
  • Soft tissue disorders like fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, bursitis and myofascial pain.

Risk factors for rheumatic diseases depend on the specific disease. However, there are some common factors that make you more prone to them. These include:

  • Age
    Arthritis is common in elderly but it can affect at any age. Osteoporosis is common in women over 50 years of age. Spine disorders are common in young males.
  • Family history
    If any of the parents or siblings have a history of rheumatic diseases, it increases the chances of getting these diseases.
  • Lifestyle
    A calcium deficient diet, sedentary lifestyle and insufficient exposure to sunlight are risk factors for rheumatic diseases.

The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis are pain, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints. Osteoporosis and osteomalacia cause fractures with minimal trauma. Autoimmune rheumatic diseases can cause fever, rash and fatigue.

Rheumatic diseases can be diagnosed after a detailed medical history followed by physical examination of the affected joints. A confirmed diagnosis can be made based on laboratory tests that indicate the presence of inflammation markers and specific antibodies. Imaging tests like X-ray, CT scan and MRI help in estimating the amount of damage and detect the presence of inflammation and fluid around the joint. Consult Indore’s best orthopaedic doctors at our Centre for Bone & Joint.

Treatment of Rheumatic diseases is done by medications, surgery and therapy which include:

  • Medications
    Oral and topical analgesics, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids and Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
  • Surgical treatment
    Arthroscopy, synovectomy, osteotomy and total joint replacement.
  • Therapy
    Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, hot and cold therapy and relaxation therapy.