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Answer to your Health Question

Question:

Thank you for your reply.

I recently had to go to ER.

The problem is now on one foot (left) it became swollen and very painful.

I could not even walk.

Because I've develop a rash around my nose bridge Lupus was ruled out.

I was given pain medication and sent home with a referral to rheumatology.

Could all these symptoms be related? And can rheumatologic problems be managed?

I feel so helpless.

Willie

Answer:

Dear Willie,

Rheumatologic problems are becoming more prevalent in the aging and increasingly overweight Western population.

Many such conditions are chronic, and most people concerned have problems with more than one anatomical joint region, resulting in cumulatively increased problems with performing daily tasks.

Management is complex because of the chronic nature of many of these conditions, the need for regular assessment of disease impact, the individual's responses to the disease and its treatment, the presence of co-morbidities, and the lack of well-designed studies of long-term outcome to guide treatment.

There are significant issues about how to monitor outcomes in routine practice, and many outcome measures have been developed for use in clinical trials.

Principles of modern management include involvement of people in their own care, early intervention, and the need to consider a multidisciplinary approach.

Most conditions will require combinations of one or more non-pharmacological therapies (especially muscle strengthening and aerobic exercise) and pharmacological agents, with attention given to appropriate timing of surgical interventions.

Rheumatology is an ever-changing specialty in which the amount of available information is growing daily and spread across a myriad of books, journals, and websites.

The book "The Oxford Desk Reference: Rheumatology" brings this information together in an easy-to-use format.

This essential resource combines up-to-date, relevant, evidence-based information with the latest guidelines and the experience of senior consultants.


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