Rheumatic diseases affect more than 46 million Americans. Not only do they cause painful symptoms, but they can also have an extensive impact on a patient’s mental health and lifestyle. Premier Medical Associates wants to help you find relief if you are suffering from any of these painful effects. Through our rheumatology services, we can diagnosis many acute and chronic rheumatoid conditions, including the different types of arthritis. Our team will also assist in managing these difficult chronic conditions through prescribed care and professional coping advice for patients and their families. If you are ready to find relief, contact us to begin your journey to health.

Premier Medical Associates, an affiliate of the Allegheny Health Network, is the largest multi-specialty physician practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Our care for rheumatoid conditions includes specialized ultrasounds in our office at One Monroeville Center location.

Contact Us

FAQs on Rheumatic Diseases:

What Are Rheumatic Diseases?

Rheumatic diseases are illnesses characterized by inflammation of connective, supportive structures in the human body. These structures include your joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Initially, this inflammation leads to painful symptoms. Over time, it impacts a person’s overall function as well.

Because of this broad characterization, more than 100 types of diseases fall into this category of illness. Just some examples of the health issues that may require rheumatology disease care include:

  • osteoarthritis - i.e. arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of our bones wear down
  • autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • psoriatic arthritis - i.e. arthritis that affects some people who have the skin condition psoriasis
  • lupus - i.e. a long-term autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue
  • gout - i.e. a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream
  • tendinitis - i.e. inflammation or irritation of a tendon
  • bursitis - i.e. inflammation of the fluid-filled pads that cushion your joints
  • sciatica - i.e. back pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve
  • carpal tunnel syndrome - i.e. numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist
  • Sjogren’s syndrome - i.e. a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the moisture-producing glands do not function correctly
  • antiphospholipid syndrome - i.e. a disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks normal proteins in the blood
  • scleroderma - i.e. chronic hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues
  • fibromyalgia - i.e. a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues

So Rheumatologists Don’t Just Treat Arthritis?

Not at all. Rheumatology includes the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and certain autoimmune conditions. That said, we are a very helpful resource if you are experiencing arthritis or osteoarthritis, which are common among the general public and the older population. Because these conditions affect important areas such as the hands and feet, all types of arthritis require proper treatment and management. Otherwise, they’ll impair your overall function, health, and quality of life.

What Are The Main Symptoms Of Rheumatic Diseases?

Because inflammation is the key symptom among these illnesses, painful side effects are the most common symptoms in patients. These include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning
  • Swelling around your joints
  • Warmth and redness
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty using the joint or body part normally

Additional symptoms patients may feel - depending on their condition - include fatigue, rashes and/or sores, difficulty breathing, and muscle pain.

When Should I See A Rheumatologist?

If you are suffering from any painful symptoms affecting your joints and their functionality, you should consider scheduling an appointment with a rheumatologist for an evaluation. Additionally, you should maintain a regular visiting schedule with your primary care doctor, and should keep them updated on your state of health. Certain symptoms or complaints will prompt your main doctor to order helpful blood tests that may lead to a referral to a rheumatologist for proper care.

Treatment for rheumatic diseases is always heavily dependent on the type of illness and the severity of symptoms in each case. Often, treatment will include medication for pain and inflammation. Therapy, massage, weight loss, and even surgery may also be recommended on a case by case basis.

Sadly, these illnesses are often chronic and require ongoing management since they are unlikely to be cured.

What Should I Expect From A Visit With Your Team?

Patients experiencing rheumatic problems can have specialized care at Premier. Our rheumatologist and supportive care team diagnoses and treats many acute and chronic rheumatoid conditions, including the different types of arthritis. Additionally, we believe that part of providing better rheumatology care is assisting in managing these difficult chronic conditions and providing coping advice for patients and their families.

Our rheumatologist currently sees patients and performs in-office ultrasounds in our office at One Monroeville Center location.