Rheumatology is a sub-specialty of medicine that focuses on medical diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other disorders of the bones, muscles and joints, such as autoimmune diseases and musculoskeletal pain disorders. Rheumatologists can treat more than 100 different types of diseases, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus
- Back pain
- Metabolic bone disease
A rheumatologist’s role is to diagnose, treat and medically manage individuals with rheumatic conditions, often collaborating with other physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists and social workers. Since rheumatic disorders are chronic, collaborative treatment and patient education and advocacy are particularly important. Rheumatologists interact with patients and families, providing information and training to promote the highest level of quality of life for patients with rheumatic disease. They teach techniques for preventing disability, coping mechanisms for chronic disorders, behavioral therapy for improving quality of life and medication regimes.
Lakewood is pleased to have an on-staff rheumatologist, Dr. Kathy Riordan, and certified nurse specialist, Debra Tastad, as part of the team.