What is a Rheumatologist

A specialist consultant who cares for patients with musculoskeletal problems. The name is derived from the word rheumatism, a very non-specific term that embraces a range of disorders that involve bones, muscles and joints.

A rheumatologist has wide ranging experience in internal medicine and is the specialist to see if you have any form of condition with joint, soft tissue or spinal pain. Having made a diagnosis, a treatment plan for each individual patient is proposed according to his or her condition.

A rheumatologist usually works with a team of health care professionals including physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropracters, acupuncturists, podiatrists, orthopedic surgeons and other medical specialists. Some conditions may require medications (such as rheumatoid arthritis) and some may require injections (bursitis, frozen shoulder). The goal is to treat and manage a patient’s condition using a multidisciplinary approach and, hopefully, without resorting to surgery. Look at the "Common Conditions" page for further information on specific diagnoses.