When you’re young and everything’s working as it should be, it can be easy to push your body’s limits and overuse it. While there’ll always be immediate reactions to this type of abuse of the body, one might not understand its severity because the body usually recuperates over time.
However, once you grow older, you may feel discomfort and hear cracks as you change positions. Your movement might become hampered and uneasy. The actions that were easy enough to do before could now be challenging to accomplish.
This phenomenon could be a result of overusing your body. On the other hand, you might just be susceptible to rheumatic diseases. With this, you ought to find a great rheumatologist in Orlando if you reside in Florida.
What is Rheumatology?
Rheumatology is an exciting field of medicine concerned with the body’s bones, joints, and tissues. The word “rheumatism” comes from the Greek words reneos (meaning “of the joints”) and hramos (meaning “of the heart”).
When inflammation occurs around the joints of the body, this is called a rheumatic disease. When the cartilage cushioning the joints is damaged by too much pressure or exposure to a disease-causing infection, it becomes too soft and vulnerable to damage. When this happens, the risk for infection rises, and arthritis and other degenerative diseases can set in.
Those who have this condition often feel chronic pain in their joints. They also experience swelling, fatigue, stiffness, and redness in the affected area of their joints. Those suffering from this condition may be dealing with all types of symptoms and issues. The first thing to know is that this disease is an autoimmune disorder. This means that the immune system starts to attack the body itself.
The Importance of Rheumatology
As with any other scientific breakthroughs, rheumatology’s primary benefit is that it can help improve people’s quality of life. Pain and discomfort can have significant impacts on your everyday activities. More than the physical effects, though, rheumatism can also lead to psychological vulnerabilities, like stress, anxiety, and even depression.
This branch of medicine has also provided doctors with more insights on the human body. Rheumatic diseases are tricky to address, especially in their early stages because the symptoms aren’t very apparent. However, these seemingly ordinary manifestations are actually rooted in more complex conditions.
If you’ve been feeling chronic joint and bone problems, you should find an expert in rheumatology. Here are the reasons to do so:
- Receive Proper Medication
The reasons to see a rheumatologist are many, and they range from wanting to be proactive in relieving pain just to be comfortable knowing they’re working toward a cure. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause a tremendous amount of pain, and many people choose to treat themselves with over-the-counter medication or through surgery. While these methods may provide temporary relief, there’s no point in prolonging the pain and suffering if the condition doesn’t go away.
When you find a rheumatology specialist, you can undergo tests to determine which type of arthritis you have. Some tests may include x-rays and blood tests. The doctor can give you his diagnosis which will help get you the best treatment. Some of the treatments include anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, joint replacement, and many other treatment options.
- Check the Cause of Joint Pain
As mentioned, rheumatic disease can cause joint pain and swelling. You could feel pain in your feet, hands, and neck, but it’s most common in the knees and ankles. However, joint pain and swelling can be due to many things, from an injury to arthritis. Many people have an overactive immune system, which causes their immune system to fight against them, causing them to have pain and swelling in their joints. This can also happen as a result of an infection or a malfunction of the joints.
That’s why when you feel such pain, it’s best to visit a rheumatologist even if you can ease the pain for a while. That way, they can diagnose if it’s related to a rheumatic condition or not.
A doctor will check for such signs. If any of these areas are found to be infected or swollen, then the possibility of having arthritis is more likely. If you’re diagnosed with arthritis or other rheumatic condition, then you should get the treatment as early as possible to prevent it from worsening.
- Verify Abnormal Blood Test
If you’ve gone to a physician for a blood test, and they find it abnormal, it’s best to see a rheumatologist as well. It’s because one way to detect the rheumatic condition is through blood tests. A rheumatologist can conduct a blood test for the following purposes:
- Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) Test – This test can show high ANA levels which can destroy your cell by attacking its nucleus.
- Lyme Serology – Doctors can run this test to rule out the possibility of rheumatic conditions, which, when it detects antibodies, may be indicative of Lyme disease instead of rheumatic arthritis.
- HLA Tissue Typing – This type of test will help doctors discover HLA-B27 in your blood, which indicates that you may have reactive arthritis which is associated with rheumatic arthritis.
- Anti-cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (Anti-CCP) Test – This test will identify if you have rheumatic arthritis. The normal range is 20 u/ml. Anything above it points to a possibility of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatology is a relatively new field in medicine that focuses on musculoskeletal pain. This branch of medicine gained traction because it gave insight on how seemingly common symptoms can actually be signs of more complex problems. Everyone needs to understand it, being susceptible to pain in the bones, joints, and tissues.