Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a few answers to Questions frequently asked questions about Arthritis and Rheumatology.
If you don’t find your answer here, please contact us for more information.

What is a rheumatologist?

A consultant rheumatologist is a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating arthritis and diseases related to rheumatology. There are over 200 different diseases that affect the joints, bones, muscles and other soft tissues.

How can I be referred to a consultant rheumatologist?

Your GP will normally refer you to a rheumatologist if they feel that further tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis or if they think you might need more specialist treatment.

How can a rheumatologist help me?

Diagnosis   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.

Where can I find more information?

Arthritis Australia   The Arthritis Australia website is a comprehensive site for all arthritis sufferers. It provides information on self management courses, seminars and various other local support groups and activities.
Click here to visit Arthritis Australia

Medication information sheets
Click here for Rheumatology Medication information

Information on prevention and treatment of osteoporosis
Click here for information on prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Australian Physiotherapy Association   The Australian Physiotherapy Association provides general information and can help you find a local physiotherapist.
Click here to visit their web site