Rheumatological Diseases

Rheumatologists are physicians with special skills and training in the complex diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and rheumatic illnesses and much, much more. They treat patients with pain and disorders of the joints, muscles, tendons, bones, and other connective tissues.

In addition to general musculoskeletal pain, some of the more common conditions treated by rheumatologists include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis (includes Reiter’s syndrome)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease associated arthritis.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis/non-radiographic axial spondylitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosis (lupus)
  • Scleroderma
  • Mixed connective tissue disorder
  • Polymyositis/inflammatory myopathy
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica/temporal arteritis
  • Crystal arthropathies, which includes gout and pseudogout
  • Vasculitis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Paget’s disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
Rheumatic conditions are typically chronic, constantly evolve and persist for long periods of time – often a lifetime. If you are experiencing symptoms of an autoimmune disease, such as joint, muscle or tendon pain, swelling or stiffness then it is important to promptly see a rheumatologist for two main reasons:

  • Some rheumatic conditions are more responsive to treatment in their early stages.
  • Prompt treatment can reduce the risk of irreversible joint and/or organ damage.
  • Most medication that is used to treat rheumatological conditions can take up to 3 months before it is known whether or not they are effective, so the sooner a person with a rheumatological condition is treated, then the sooner the disease can be controlled, reducing the time that they will suffer with their symptoms.

In addition, Dr Reiter has experience with sports medicine and associated musculoskeletal issues, having previously conducted sports medicine sessions at Concord Hospital, where she provided training for the rheumatology registrar and the sports medicine registrar.