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Important Rheumatology Terms

Receiving a diagnosis of a disease which affects the joints can be devastating. Rheumatoid ailments affect not only adults, but juveniles as well. In order to have a better, more comprehensive understanding of joint diseases whether pediatric or adult, we must first understand the terminology associated with these ailments. Below are several popular terms to know when talking to your doctor about one's diagnosis.

  • Rheumatology - Rheumatology is the branch of adult or pediatric medicine in which, doctors focus on the study and research of rheumatic diseases. These ailments can range from lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, to fibromyalgia and osteoporosis.
  • Endocrinology - The branch of adult or pediatric medicine which focuses on the endocrine systems and its secretions.
  • Lupus - One of several diseases which typically affect the skin, causing lesions. Systemic Lupus can also affect the joints as well as other systems of the body.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis - A chronic autoimmune disease typically characterized by inflammation and swelling of the joints. This inflammation eventually causes deformities in conjunction with severe pain and chronic stiffness.
  • Fibromyalgia - A rheumatoid syndrome wherein fatigue and debilitating headaches accompany severe joint and muscle pain.
  • Osteoporosis - A disorder in which the bones become porous and brittle. This may result in skeletal deformities, loss of height and frequent fractures. Calcium deficiency is usually the primary factor which causes osteoporosis.
  • Osteoarthritis - A chronic breakdown of the cartilage between the joints such as the knees, hands and hips. This breakdown results in joint pain, swelling and stiffness, and is a common ailment occurring sometime during or after middle age.
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    Rheumatology Arthritis & Osteo
    500 Arba St, Montgomery, AL 36104
    (334) 396-8602
    Montgomery Rheumatology Associates
    1421 Narrow Lane Pkwy, Montgomery, AL 36111
    (334) 284-3105
    Nop Unoppet DO
    1010 1st St N, Alabaster, AL 35007
    (205) 620-8676
    Advanced Arthitis Care
    1010 1st St N Ste 250, Alabaster, AL 35007
    (205) 620-8676
    Shelby Advanced Arthritis Care
    1000 1st St N, Alabaster, AL 35007
    (205) 620-8676
    Randall D Ayers MD Rheumatology
    1718 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    (205) 562-8180
    John D Morgan Jr MD
    985 9th Ave Sw, Bessemer, AL 35022
    (205) 481-4588
    Clinic for Rheumatic Diseases
    100 Towncenter Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
    (205) 750-0030
    Richard E Jones III Ph.D. MD
    100 Towncenter Blvd Ste 112, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
    (205) 750-0030
    David A McLain MD
    2229 Cahaba Valley Dr, Birmingham, AL 35242
    (205) 991-8996
    Rheumatology Care Center
    209 W Spring St Ste 302, Sylacauga, AL 35150
    (256) 245-5450
    Mary Altz Smith MD
    2022 Brookwood Medical Ctr Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209
    (205) 877-2551
    Joel D Abbott MD
    2145 Highland Ave S Ste 200, Birmingham, AL 35205
    (205) 933-0320
    Rheumatology Associates PC
    2145 Highland Ave S Ste 200, Birmingham, AL 35205
    (205) 933-0320
    C Douglas Bell MD DR
    880 Montclair Rd, Birmingham, AL 35213
    (205) 591-2758


    The field of rheumatology is an extensive one that encompasses a number of conditions and disorders. You might make an appointment if you have a common disease like gout, bursitis or arthritis. Rheumatologists also work with some lesser known conditions, like sponsylitis, ankylosing and henoch. This specialist deals with autoimmune disorders like fibromyalgia, sclerosis and lupus. This article provides an overview of rheumatology, including brief descriptions of some of the most common types of disorders rheumatologists typically treat. Rheumatology is a specialty field that requires four years of medical school, three years of training in internal medicine or pediatrics, and another two to three years specilaizing in rheumatology or endocrinology. Rheumatology doctors often work with other physicians or health care providers in coordinating a treatment for a specific condition. Because chronic pain can be a common symptom of a rheumatology condition, like osteoarthritis and polyarthritis when joints become inflamed, these doctors often administer cortisone injections and prescribe other types of pain relieving treatment. Many of the disorders that fall under the umbrella of rheumatology, including arthritis, lupus and osteoporosis, are chronic in nature. Chronic disorders mean that there is no cure. Treatmebnt is primarily focused on dealing with symptoms as they develop. Other rheumatology diseases, like gout and bursitis, can be thoroughly treated. Many patients enter a rheumatology office when they develop severe, ongoing pain from inflamed joints or muscles. The diseases are often complex to diagnose and may take some time to identify. Once the disorder is correctly named, the rheumatology doctor can work with the patient to come up with an effective treatment plan.
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