When it comes to joint pain, many older Americans have an attitude of 'grin and bear it,' as most think that this is simply a part of growing older. However, this does not have to be the case, with modern medicine providing astounding solutions that can totally change your outlook on life and improve the ease of day-to-day interactions and tasks. The only trouble can be getting people to see that they need medical help from specialist doctors, such as a rheumatologist. Here is why you should see a rheumatologist when you first start encountering chronic joint pain.
The Broad Scope Of A Rheumatologist
While this is a specialty part of medicine, a rheumatologist is unlike many other specialists in that they still treat virtually all parts of the body, from the head and neck down to the toes. Their focus is on the connective tissue and the muscles and bones that it binds together, which is where most of your joint pain comes from. Whether you have pain in your shoulder, knee, fingers, or a constant crick in your neck, you should see a rheumatologist about it. They also work with patients who suffer from auto-immune diseases such as lupus, but for your purposes that is most likely not relevant.
The first stage of your treatment by any rheumatologist will be an exact and holistic examination of your person to discover whether you have an individual ailment that is localized to one area or an overarching condition that is present throughout your body. For instance, the difference could be anything from a backache that you got through a sporting injury or the onset of arthritis all over the body. Something that you might have thought was relatively minor may be an early symptom of something much bigger, which is why rheumatologists always suggest acting as early as possible, rather than waiting until it gets much more painful.
Adjusting Your Daily Habits
If the condition is mild and one-off, then a rheumatologist can still help you make sure that it doesn't reoccur and provide relief for the time being, as well as a fast track to getting better, but this area of medicine really shines for those who struggle with long-term aches and pains. For those people, a rheumatologist can help design a plan combining physical stretches and exercises as well as lifestyle changes to lighten the load exacerbating your condition, including regulated but very relieving medications which can increase your quality of life to no end. Don't wait until you feel as though you can't crawl out of bed, talk to a rheumatologist and you may just be surprised at the amount of help they can offer you.