Rheumatology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases and autoimmune disease. These diseases can negatively impact the tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones and joints causing swelling, pain, stiffness and deformity.
Autoimmune diseases occur when your body recognizes healthy tissue as foreign tissue, allowing the immune system to attack healthy cells. There are many types of autoimmune disease, making them difficult to diagnose. In most cases, the underlying cause of the autoimmune disease is not discovered.
In order to diagnose an autoimmune disease, a complete history, physical examination, along with the appropriate laboratory investigation are needed. A rheumatologist has special training in the diagnosis and monitoring of complex autoimmune disease processes.