Sky Lakes Rheumatology Clinic
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints, causing pain and swelling. The most common sites of inflammation are the wrists and hands, but other locations, such as the feet, knees and shoulders, can also be affected.
When you have rheumatoid arthritis, your body's immune system, which normally attacks bacteria, viruses and other invaders, begins to treat your joint tissues as foreign material. This autoimmune process causes painful inflammation that can cause significant damage to your bones, cartilage and tendons.
A rheumatologist is an internist who received further training in the detection and treatment of musculoskeletal disease and systemic autoimmune conditions.
Everyone experiences muscle and joint pain from time to time. When the muscle and joint pain is not improving, additional evaluation may be needed. Typically, a primary care physician is seen for the first evaluation. If there is concern for an underlying rheumatic condition, that physician will refer you to a rheumatologist for evaluation.