Rheumatology covers a wide range of inflammatory conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, and more.
What is Rheumatology?
Both rheumatologists and orthopedic specialists diagnose and treat issues that affect joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. However, rheumatologists have special training in conditions that have an inflammatory or autoimmune component rather than a focus on injuries. Many conditions that benefit from rheumatological care also have a hereditary aspect.
Some of the conditions Astera’s rheumatologist treats include:
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren’s syndrome
- Joint problems, such as bursitis
- Fibromyalgia diagnosis (will refer for treatment)
Many of the symptoms of rheumatic diseases can include:
- Generalized pain
- Dry eyes
- Dry mouth
- Hair loss
- Muscle weakness
- Swollen lymph nodes
It can be helpful to keep a journal of symptoms to prepare for your appointment with Astera’s rheumatologist.
Diagnosis and Treatment
In addition to blood tests and imaging, diagnosing a rheumatological condition requires truly listening to patients regarding symptoms. The rheumatologist at Astera stays curious about small details, so he can get a full picture of a patient’s condition. Once he has the full story of the condition and how it impacts a patient’s life, he can move forward with a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
Care for a rheumatological condition could include:
- IV infusions
- Occupational therapy
- Oral medications
- Physical therapy
- Prescribed exercise
- Rest and energy-conservation techniques
Rheumatologist Patrick Kern, DO, has a kind and calming personality, giving patients the time and attention they deserve. Click below to find out more about Dr. Kern’s training and experience: