Most people think that a rheumatologist only treats rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, Eugene, OR rheumatologists treat more than 200 types of diseases including autoimmune diseases like lupus, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Because many types of diseases associated with rheumatology are hard to identify, especially in the early stages, a rheumatologist may work along with other types of doctors in order to provide better diagnosis and treatment for patients.
Look for These Signs and Symptoms
Persistent pain and swelling of the joints lasting more than two weeks is probably the most obvious sign that a visit to the doctor is needed. Joints that become swollen and red in color, or joints that feel warm may be indicative of inflammation in the tissue. Loss of motion or decreased ability to move joints, reduced range of motion, and tenderness or pain that gets worse or more intense with increased activity or movement may also be a sign that it's time to schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist.
A visit to one's personal physician is a good first step in the right direction. Discuss any symptoms, pains, or problem areas which may indicate the possibility of any rheumatoid-related conditions. Ask your doctor to order a blood test that will rule out any type of rheumatoid arthritis. The doctor will help in making a decision to see a rheumatologist or not. Be sure to contact the health insurance provider and get a referral for specialists in the surrounding area.
What to Expect on the First Visit
The rheumatologist will likely want to gather as much information as possible and initiate a detailed patient history. Prepare by making a list of the types of pains, aches, or changes noticed. The doctor will want to know when the symptoms began, how long they rented, and what effect they have on daily life, work, or other activities. The doctor will also want to know about family history, specifically if any other family members have had rheumatoid arthritis or any similar condition. The more the doctor knows about the patient, the better they can diagnose and provide proper treatment
Once a proper diagnosis is made, the rheumatologist can better explain the nature of a particular condition and what can be expected of future treatments. Most treatment programs will likely include some sort of treatment program designed to help with pain management, increasing range of motion, and reducing any inflammation. As with any medical treatment, early diagnosis is vital in order to help patients regardless of the best possible outcome. Check your local listings for Eugene, OR rheumatologists.