What is a Rheumatologist?

Rheumatology is often confused with Orthopaedics. Often, a patient with joint pain sees an Orthopaedic doctor instead of a Rheumatologist. What is the difference?

A Rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in arthritis and bone and joint diseases. Rheumatologists prescribe medication to control inflammation and pain and monitor the patient closely.

Over 100 types of arthritis including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Lupus, Gout, Scleroderma, Back pain, osteoporosis, etc. are treated by Rheumatologists.

The rheumatologist may give joint injections, order blood tests, or refer you to a surgeon or physical therapist – as appropriate.

An Orthopedic Doctor is someone a patient may consult to have major or minor operations or surgeries on their bones and joints – like joint replacements of hips, knees, shoulders; disc or back surgeries; tendon repairs or arthroscopies. Besides surgery, the Orthopedist may give you joint injections or refer you to a Rheumatologist or Physical Therapist.
More than 100 types of arthritis and bone and joint ailments are treated at the Dr. Humeira Badsha Medical Center. Our experts are skilled in the latest treatment methods such as biological drugs, musculoskeletal ultrasound as part of the clinical examination, disease activity scores, and ultrasound-guided joint injections.

Among the more common bone & joint ailments treated at our Medical Center are:

Top Ten Things To Do For Healthy Bones and Joints

Dr. Humeira Badsha recommends the following pointers for healthy bones and joints:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight and body mass index. Research has shown that every kg increase in body weight above normal, increases the stress on knees by 5 kg.
  • Consume enough calcium. An adult needs 1000 mg of calcium daily and a post-menopausal woman needs 1500 mg calcium. 1 glass (200 ml) of milk contains about 300 mg of calcium.
  • Get enough Vitamin D. The daily requirement is 1000 IU. This is usually obtained by exposure in the sun – about 15 minutes per day for very light skinned people. More pigmented skins may find it hard to absorb the vitamin D and you may require a supplement or fortified foods.Why is everyone in sunny Dubai in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) deficient in vitamin D.
  • Exercise daily or at least 3- 4 times per week. A combination of aerobic activities and strength training is needed.
  • Quit smoking. Research has shown that smoking can increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis by up to 20 fold.
  • Pay attention to your body. Do not ignore aches, pains, joint swelling or stiffness. See a Rheumatologist promptly if you have these symptoms.
  • Eat fish. Omega oils in certain types of fish and walnuts help prevent arthritis.
  • Watch your food. There are beneficial anti-inflammatory properties in ginger, turmeric avocado. Limit consumption of excess red meats and alcohol.
  • Relax. Stress can trigger auto-immune disease and certain forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Stretch. Stretching before exercise and regularly during the day prevents muscle strain and repetitive stress injuries.

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