The first thing that several individuals think when they consider a rheumatologist is general joint pain or a specific issue such as rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatologists treat those conditions, but they also help individuals with other issues.
Most people have joint pain occasionally. Now, how can you tell whether the pain means that it is the right time for consulting a rheumatologist? In the event of experiencing new pain, then your first consultation would have to be with your PCP (primary care provider). That professional may refer you to a rheumatology specialist for numerous reasons. Read on for those possible reasons to see a rheumatologist.
When Joint Pain Is Serious, Is Not Improving, Or In Both Situations
It is not unusual to have pain, plus there are several possible reasons for the issue. You would usually be aware of the cause of it, in which case, it would heal by itself or through a doctor’s instructions. Anyhow, it is perhaps worth investigating further into the issue in one of the following scenarios or in both cases.
- When it is your first time experiencing pain and you are unaware of the reason for it.
- When you are not having relief from it and it is serious.
If Other Symptoms, Like Fatigue Or Fever, Come With The Pain
Symptoms besides joint pain tend to appear in people having rheumatic conditions. Osteoarthritis may have the following symptoms.
- Pain when moving or after it
- Joint stiffness soon after awakening from sleep or following inactivity
- Bone spurs
- Joint tenderness
- Lack of flexibility
Likewise, RA’s symptoms include warm, tender, and inflamed joints, plus joint stiffness on waking up/after inactivity. Anyhow, RA patients are also likely to have fatigue, appetite loss, and fever.
In one of those two cases, you may want to search for the best doctor for rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
If Autoimmune Or Rheumatic Conditions Run In Your Family
A rheumatic condition may not always come from a family member, but some genes alongside certain environmental triggers are possible risk factors. As for systemic lupus erythematosus, for instance, having a relative with SLE is likely to play a bigger part in increasing your risk of developing it. In a recent study, 8% of the participants had at least a single first-degree relative with lupus. So, environmental factors and genetics possibly contribute to SLE.