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What do we do?
Rheumatology is a branch of medicine that covers more than 200 different conditions, from musculoskeletal problems causing muscle pain and back pain through to systemic autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Many of the conditions we treat are caused by the gradual deterioration of joints, muscles and bones as people get older or are the result of problems in the immune system.
Rheumatologists treat many rare diseases that are difficult to diagnose and often act as detective piecing together a complex puzzle of symptoms and test results to get to the bottom a patient’s medical problems. There are many different causes for joint and muscle pain and our highly skilled rheumatologists are experts in working out what is wrong with you using a combination of a complete medical history, physical examination, blood tests and scans to make the correct diagnosis and choose the most effective treatment options.
When would I see a Rheumatologist?
Joint pain and swelling may be the first sign of a rheumatic disease such as arthritis. Early diagnosis and treatment are important as without appropriate treatment permanent damage may occur to the joints.
Common conditions that we treat include osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, chronic back and neck pain, localised joint or muscle or tendon problems such as ‘tennis elbow’, tendonitis, lupus, fibromyalgia, inflammatory arthritis, osteoporosis, PMR, Sjogren’s syndrome, vasculitis, scleroderma, antiphospholipid syndrome, myositis, sarcoidosis, temporal arteritis and hyper mobility syndromes.
What treatments are on offer?
There is an extensive range of treatment options available depending on your diagnosis and we will devise a personalised plan to best meet your needs. Treatments include local steroid injections into joints and soft tissues, physiotherapy and a wide variety of different drugs to reduce inflammation and help pain and stiffness in joints and muscles. There is also a wide choice of treatments for conditions such as osteoporosis (brittle bones) including injections and annual infusions to make bones stronger. Our goal is to reduce your pain and maximise your function.
The complex and changeable nature of many rheumatic diseases often requires ongoing assessment and evaluation. We will monitor your response to treatment carefully and make changes as and when necessary.
Rheumatology facts and stats
- Nearly 9 million people in the UK are affected by osteoarthritis which is the most common condition treated by rheumatologists
- Over 400,000 adults in the UK have rheumatoid arthritis
- 200,00 people in the UK have ankylosing spondylitis
- 1.8 million in the UK people suffer from gout