Q1. What is a Rheumatologist?
Ans: A rheumatologist is a medical doctor who has completed a three-year Internal Medicine residency followed by a two-year sub-specialty in Rheumatology.
Q2. What do Rheumatologists treat?
Ans : Rheumatologists are specially trained to deal with different arthritic conditions, sports injuries, chronic joint pain, autoimmune disorders, metabolic bone diseases and soft tissue rheumatic conditions.
Q3. What is the difference between a Rheumatologist and an Orthopedic Surgeon?
Ans: Joint disorders that can be treated medically (i.e. without surgery), are treated by a rheumatologist. Orthopaedic surgeons specialize in surgical treatments and in the management of fractures.
Q4. Is arthritis more common in women?
Ans: It depends. Rheumatoid arthritis is three times more common in women. Osteoarthritis affects men and women alike.
Q5. Do patients with arthritis require a special diet?
Ans: No special diet is required for most patients with arthritis. Diet does play an important role in certain types of arthritis, however, such as gout.
Q6. Why does my doctor want me to do physical therapy?
Ans: Physical therapy helps to reduce the pain and stiffness in the joints. Exercise also helps increase flexibility and range of motion and strengthens the muscles around the joint.
Q7. How fast can I expect results from physical therapy?
Ans: A typical course of physical therapy lasts 4-6 weeks. Progress will vary as each person’s condition is different.
Q8. Are the ultrasound guided injections painful?
Ans: The use of ultrasound guidance reduces any discomfort the patient may have and may make the procedure more effective.
Q9. I received an injection, should I put heat or ice on the shot area?
Ans: Apply ice packs to the injected areas every 2-3 hours while awake, typically three or four times, during the first 24 hours after the injection. Small areas like the wrist should have ice applied for five minutes at a time. Large areas like the back or shoulder should have ice applied for 15-20 minutes at a time. Avoid ice packs to the neck. Do not apply ice packs to the fingers or toes. Do not apply ice packs over broken skin.
Q10 When can I resume my exercises after an injection?
Ans: Unless otherwise instructed, you may resume normal, non-athletic activities the day of the injection. Avoid strenuous activity or exercises for the first 24 hours.