Westroads Rheumatology Associates offers patients individualized, expert specialty care, convenient on-site diagnostic and infusion therapy services, and cutting edge clinical research, in a welcoming and supportive environment. If you’re about to see a rheumatologist for the first time, you’re on the right path. Studies show the earlier you’re treated for rheumatic disease, the more likely you are to feel better sooner and stay active longer.
What Is Rheumatology?
Rheumatology is a sub-specialty in internal medicine and pediatrics, devoted to diagnosis and therapy of rheumatic diseases – musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune conditions that cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints or other supportive body structures, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.
Autoimmune conditions occur when the immune system sends inflammation to areas of the body when it is not needed causing damage/symptoms. These diseases can also affect the eyes, skin, nervous system and internal organs. Common diseases treated by rheumatologists include osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic back pain, tendinitis, and lupus.
A Rheumatologist is an internist or pediatrician, who received further post-residency training in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases.
Please click any of the following links to better understand your symptoms:
What To Expect On Your First Visit
- What are your symptoms?
- How often do you have symptoms? (all the time, daily, weekly, occasionally)
- What makes you feel better? (exercise, rest, medicine)
- What makes you feel worse? (lack of activity, not enough sleep, stress, eating certain foods)
- What activities cause pain? (walking, bending, reaching, sitting for too long?)
- Where on your body is the pain?
- How bad is the pain?
- Which words best describe your pain? (dull, sharp, stabbing, throbbing, burning, aching, cramping, radiating)
- How does the pain make you feel? (tired, upset, sick)
- Does it stop you from doing things you enjoy? (gardening, shopping, taking care of children, intimacy)
- Are there symptoms other than joint, muscle, or bone pain that seem to be linked? (rashes, itching, dry mouth or eyes, fevers, infections)
What To Bring
Create a timeline.
Go back as far as you can remember. Describe your symptoms and how they’ve changed over time.
Do some family research.
What kinds of problems run in your family? Find out what you can about the health of your grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters.
Bring a list of the medications you take.
Your rheumatologist will need a list of your prescriptions and any over-the-counter medicines (e.g. pain relievers, allergy medicines, medicated creams) and supplements (e.g. herbs, vitamins) you take. Don’t forget to include medications for other conditions. To make it easy, you can toss your medicines into a bag and bring them with you. Ask your other doctors for copies of your records and any test results or X-rays, and bring them with you. Or let our office and we can request these in advance of your appointment.
Bring a list of questions you have.
It’s natural to wonder about things like when you will start feeling better, medication options, current research, and where to find other resources and support for living with rheumatic disease. Before you leave the office, ask any questions that weren’t answered during the visit about your treatment plan and next steps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a referral to see a rheumatologist?
What insurance do you accept?
All major insurance accepted
Who do I contact for billing questions?
Mary @ (402)505-7296