What Does A Rheumatologist Do?

Arthritis is perhaps one symptom of numerous conditions that affect connective tissue, and hundreds of forms of arthritis exist. It is a rheumatologist’s job to find out which kind of arthritis exists in an individual, and start the right treatment after that diagnosis.

A rheumatologist does an in-depth examination to help diagnose arthritis. If the individual has the condition, the medical professional would start treating them sooner rather than later. Even the best rheumatologist in Los Angeles does this because of the aspects of rheumatic conditions that are shared below.

  1. It becomes tough to treat several rheumatic conditions as time goes on; and,
  2. These health issues react best to their treatments in the beginning phases.


The starting symptoms and signs of some arthritic conditions are similar to those of several others, so diagnosing the former is tough in their early stages. Medical professionals lack a single blood examination or physical test finding to be sure of the diagnosis.

The aforesaid conditions are likely to change in time, and when it does, a Los Angeles rheumatologist has to look at you multiple times for an exact diagnosis. The first appointment with a rheumatologist will take 60 minutes or more. You could end up spending the bulk of that time discussing your symptoms with the doctor.

In the first visit, your rheumatologist will do a physical examination where they check the joints for redness, nodules and warmth that indicates inflammation. For an uninitiated, a nodule is a cell aggregation or a tiny swelling. They might check the muscle power and reflexes you have too. Laboratory tests, like blood work and X-ray tests, may provide information to help the doctor in confirming your diagnosis.

Blood Tests

Rheumatoid arthritis-affected individuals tend to have a higher C-reactive protein level or sedimentation rate than normal. This indicates that the body has an internal inflammatory process. Other blood tests check for anti-CCP antibody and rheumatoid factor.

Imaging Tests

The medical professional may suggest X-ray tests to facilitate in tracking the development of RA in the joints gradually during a long period. Ultrasound tests and magnetic resonance imaging can facilitate the doctor in judging the gravity of rheumatoid arthritis.

This health condition is incurable, but research suggests that a decrease in symptoms is likelier when treatment starts early using disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

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