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Rheumatologist

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Rheumatology is a sub-specialty in internal medicine and pediatrics, devoted to the diagnosis and therapy of conditions and diseases affecting the joints, muscles, and bones. Clinicians who specialize in rheumatology are called rheumatologists. Rheumatologists deal mainly with clinical problems involving joints, soft tissues, certain autoimmune diseases, and the allied conditions of connective tissues. Essentially, they medically treat diseases, disorders, etc., that affect the musculoskeletal system. This includes many autoimmune diseases, as these conditions often cause rheumatic issues.

The term rheumatology originates from the Greek word rheuma, meaning "that which flows as a river or stream," and the suffix -ology, meaning "the study of."

Rheumatology is a rapidly evolving medical specialty, with advancements owing largely to new scientific discoveries about the immunologyof these disorders. Because the characteristics of some rheumatological disorders are often best explained by immunology, thepathogenesis of many major rheumatological disorders are now described in terms of the autoimmune system, viz., as an autoimmune disease. Correspondingly, most new treatment modalities are also based on clinical research in immunology and the resulting improved understanding of the genetic bases of rheumatological disorders. Future treatment may include gene therapy, as well. Evidence-based medical treatment of rheumatological disorders has helped patients with rheumatism lead a near normal life.

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