Rheumatology deals with the joints, soft tissue, autoimmune diseases and heritable connective tissue disorders. A rheumatologist diagnoses and treats musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune conditions with the goal of finding the underlying cause of the rheumatic disease.
Unlike orthopedists, rheumatologists don’t typically perform surgery to treat joint disease but rather use a variety of strategies such as physical and occupational therapy, anti-inflammatories, opiates and rehabilitation.
Common conditions rheumatologists treat:
- Lupus erythematosus
- Lyme disease
- Mixed connective tissue disease
- Polymyalgia rheumatica