Your rheumatologist is specially trained to do the detective work necessary to discover the cause of your symptoms. He or she will usually ask you to explain the history of the problem and will undertake a physical examination. Additional investigations such as blood tests, X-rays and scans may also be needed.
Information and Advice Once a diagnosis is made, your rheumatologist will explain the nature of your illness and what you might expect in the future. This is an important step, particularly for illnesses that might affect you over a long period.
Treatment With an accurate diagnosis and a shared understanding of your illness, you and your rheumatologist can work together to design a treatment program aimed at managing pain, reducing inflammation and ensuring your quality of life.
Ongoing Management Depending on the nature of your illness, you may need to see your rheumatologist regularly for ongoing management. Alternatively you may be treated by your GP, with the rheumatologist on hand for specialist advice.