What is Rheumatology
Rheumatologists are internists with training in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. Their strong foundation in internal medicine prepares them as specialists to manage localized and systemic (generalized) pain. For example, they treat localized pain in the back, neck, shoulders and hands, including osteoarthritis, tendonitis and bursitis, and systemic pain caused by diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus. Carpal tunnel syndrome, Lyme disease and osteoporosis are other examples of the diverse problems treated by rheumatologists.
The complex and changeable nature of many rheumatic diseases often requires ongoing assessment and evaluation. The physicians at Arthritis and Rheumatism Associates, P.C. (ARA), encourage the formation of close physician/patient relationships as they monitor conditions and modify treatment. Our goal is to reduce pain and maximize function.
Working with your Rheumatologist
Your rheumatologist may take the lead in diagnosing and caring for your condition, or work as a consulting specialist to your primary care physician. More than 500 specialists in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area have referred patients to and requested consultations from the physicians at Arthritis & Rheumatism Associates.
Because many rheumatic diseases change or evolve, you may have to make more than one office visit before your rheumatologist reaches a definitive diagnosis. The diagnostic process usually includes a complete medical history, physical examination and, if indicated, blood tests and x-rays.
ARA offers patients the convenience of in-house diagnostic facilities. Their use allows physicians to personally review and provide test results to patients in a timely manner. Based on the requirements of your treatment plan, our rheumatologists coordinate your care with the other professionals comprising your healthcare team.