Rheumatology Services & Treatments
At Bronson, our experienced team of rheumatologists provide medical management of diseases of joints, muscles, bones and tendons. We are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive care. Unfortunately, there is no cure for rheumatic disease. The goal of treatment is to limit pain and swelling, while ensuring your best possible joint function. Each treatment plan designed by a doctor should be specifically tailored to the patient's type of rheumatic disease, as well as the severity of the disease. Treatment plans often involve both short-term and long-term relief approaches, including the following:
- Exercise: Certain exercises, such as swimming, walking, low-impact aerobic exercise, and range-of-motion exercises, may help reduce joint pain and stiffness. Stretching exercises may be helpful in keeping the joints flexible.
- Heat and cold: Use of hot and/or cold applications may offer temporary pain relief and help reduce swelling.
- Joint immobilization: Use of a splint or brace can help a joint rest and protect it from further injury. Walking devices, such as canes, crutches, and assistive devices with extra large or longer handles help keep stress off certain joints.
- Massage: Light massage of painful muscles may increase blood flow and bring warmth to the muscle.
- Medicine: Relief for pain and inflammation may include medicine, including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications: Non-prescription medicine, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, helps reduce pain and inflammation.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic medications (DMARDs): Prescription medicine that may slow down the disease's progress and influence, and/or correct immune system abnormalities that are linked to the disease.
- Corticosteroids: Prescription medicine that contains hormones to treat rheumatic diseases. The medicine, such as prednisone, can be taken orally or as an injection.
- Biologics: Genetically engineered prescription medicine to decrease and interrupt the inflammation process.
- Weight loss: Extra weight puts more stress on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. Weight loss in overweight people has shown to reduce the chance of developing certain types of rheumatic disease, including osteoarthritis.