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Without bones, people would simply lie about like a heap of grapes. Bones, and the muscles that attach to them, allow people to stand, sit, and move about. While most people are able to do this every day without much thought, some develop painful conditions in their muscles and bones that can make it hard to move.
A Rheumatologist has specialized training in these conditions. The work that a Rheumatologist does can ease pain and help people move about effortlessly once more.
When you’re a Rheumatologist, patients are sent to you when their Doctors are unable to provide relief. When you meet new patients, you look over the notes from their Doctors and ask about their symptoms. During your examination, you tell them to walk around, move their sore joints, or stretch, and you poke and prod to determine how much pain they feel. Then, you order x-rays or other imaging tests so you can see how much damage has occurred.
When you find the cause of the patient’s discomfort, you prescribe medications. At times, you send patients to Physical Therapists or Occupational Therapists so they can learn to work through their pain.
Patients come back to visit you at least once a year. During these follow-up consultations, you examine them and order imaging tests again. As time passes, you may adjust the medications you give them, or you may refer them to Surgeons for additional help when you’re no longer able to ease pain.