Freeman Rheumatology Overview
Our rheumatologists are internal medicine physicians with subspecialized training in rheumatology (musculoskeletal conditions of an inflammatory and autoimmune etiology). They consider every organ system when looking for the cause of your symptoms. It’s common to think of rheumatologists when it comes to arthritis, but they diagnose, treat and manage a broad range of conditions, including:
- Inflammatory (rheumatic) disorders that affect muscles, joints and bones
- Connective tissue diseases that affect supporting structures like your ligaments and tendons and may involve the skin and other organs
- Autoimmune diseases that happen when your immune system attacks healthy tissue
A family history of rheumatic or autoimmune disease may also be a part of the bigger picture for diagnosis and treatment. Many types of rheumatic diseases are not easily identified in the early stages. Rheumatologists are specially trained to do the detective work necessary to discover the cause of swelling and pain. It's important to determine a correct diagnosis early so that appropriate treatment can begin early. Some musculoskeletal disorders respond best to treatment in the early stages of the disease.
These diseases often change or evolve over time. Our rheumatologists work closely with patients to identify the problem and design an individualized treatment program.
Types of Rheumatic Diseases
There are more than 100 types of rheumatic diseases and other conditions that rheumatologists treat, including:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- musculoskeletal pain disorders
- back pain
- certain autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, antiphospholipid syndrome and scleroderma