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.
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:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – Painful inflammation of the joints.
- Seronegative Arthritis – A diverse group of musculoskeletal syndromes.
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE, Lupus) – A chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis – Chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints.
- Reactive Arthritis (formerly Reiter’s) – An autoimmune condition, in response to an infection.
- Seronegative Spondyloarthritis (SpA) – A type of arthritis that attacks the spine.
- Gout – Painful, swollen joints due to build up of uric acid.
- Connective Tissue Diseases – A systemic autoimmune disease.
- Sjogren’s disease & Scleroderma – Inflammation of the tear & salivary glands.
- Back pain – Pain that usually originates from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine.
- Osteoarthritis – Degenerative joint disease.
- Knee pain – A common musculoskeletal complaint.
- Fibromyalgia – A medical disorder causing severe pain in the joints & fatigue.
Top 10 Things To Do For Healthy Bones and Joints
Dr. Humeira Badsha recommends the following pointers for maintaining healthy bones and joints:
- Maintain a healthy body weight and body mass index. Research has shown that every kilogram increase in body weight above normal increases the stress on knees by 5 kilograms.
- Consume sufficient calcium. An adult needs 1000 mg of calcium daily, and a post-menopausal woman needs 1500 mg. One glass (200 ml) of milk contains about 300 mg of calcium.
- Get enough Vitamin D. The daily requirement is 1000 IU, which can be obtained by exposure to the sun for about 15 minutes per day for very light-skinned people. More pigmented skins may struggle to absorb vitamin D, necessitating a supplement or fortified foods. Surprisingly, many people in sunny Dubai, UAE, are deficient in vitamin D.
- Exercise daily or at least 3-4 times per week. A combination of aerobic activities and strength training is beneficial.
- 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. Consult a Rheumatologist promptly if you experience these symptoms.
- Eat fish. The Omega oils in certain types of fish and walnuts help prevent arthritis.
- Watch your diet. Beneficial anti-inflammatory properties can be found in ginger, turmeric, and avocado. Try to limit the consumption of excess red meats and alcohol.
- Relax. Stress can trigger autoimmune diseases and certain forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Stretch regularly. Stretching before exercise and throughout the day can prevent muscle strain and repetitive stress injuries.