What is rheumatology?

Rheumatology is the study, diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect the muscles, joints and bones. The main rheumatic condition is arthritis, which has two forms – rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is systemic, causing painful swelling of most joints all over the body, and osteoarthritis is the degeneration of cartilage in the afflicted joint. While the main rheumatic condition is arthritis, other well-known conditions include osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, lupus, gout, lyme disease, scoliosis and tendonitis.

Why choose a rheumatologist?

A rheumatologist is a physician who diagnoses and treats diseases that affect the muscles, joints and bones. Accredited rheumatologists have earned a bachelor’s degree and a 4-year medical degree, as well as completed three years of an internship or residency program followed by a 2- or 3-year fellowship in rheumatology. Because there are over 100 types of rheumatic diseases and conditions, it is important to have your symptoms examined by a specialist in the field – a rheumatologist.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child are experiencing rheumatic symptoms, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

What information do I need to bring to my first visit?

Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete registration forms. You may also download the forms from this site and bring them completed with you. To assist us, please bring your insurance card, a photo ID, and a list of any medications and supplements you are currently taking. If you have any X-rays of your condition, bring those with you as well. Please be prepared to pay your co-pay at the time services are rendered.

How can I get a prescription refill?

Have your pharmacy fax a renewal request to the our office. If the medication is refillable, we will submit a request to your pharmacy. Please allow 24-48 hours for processing refill requests.

Please keep in mind, some prescriptions may require a follow-up exam to determine the need of a refill. All our patients are expected to sign our prescription policy document. This will be reviewed with you at your first visit to our practice.

Why do I need a referral to see a rheumatologist?

Most often, insurance companies require a referral to a specialist in order for them to cover their portion of the services provided. Be sure to contact your insurance provider to determine if a referral is needed to see a particular specialist.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints, which develops over a lifetime and is a natural part of aging. Patients with arthritis experience pain, swelling in the joints and stiffness. Arthritis can cause joint weakness and physical deformities, making it difficult to complete basic, everyday tasks. Recommended treatment includes medication, joint injections, weight loss, exercise and surgery.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis means “porous bone” and is characterized by the weakening of your bones, causing them to become fragile and breakable at the slightest bump or fall. While osteoporosis can affect men and women, women are four times more likely to develop this disease, especially after menopause. It is a considered a silent disease because there are no warning signs or symptoms. Treatment for osteoporosis includes medication, exercising, eating a balanced diet and consuming plenty of calcium and vitamin D.

What is lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects over 1.5 million Americans. With lupus, the immune system cannot differentiate between a foreign body and healthy tissue, and thus attacks the healthy tissue in addition to the foreign body. Inflammation, fatigue, swelling of the joints and headaches are symptoms of lupus. Doctors typically prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication and corticosteroids to help alleviate the symptoms.

What is scleroderma?

Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects adults between the ages of 30 to 50, and typically affects more women than men. With scleroderma, the body produces too much collagen, which causes thickening of the skin and scarring of the internal organs. Symptoms can include thickening and hardening of the skin, red spots on the face and chest, swelling and pain in the fingers and toes, muscle weakness and diarrhea. Scleroderma can be controlled with anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids, blood pressure medication, exercise and stress management.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is an arthritis-related illness that involves several symptoms that commonly occur together – such as widespread muscle pain, joint pain, extreme fatigue, chronic headaches, difficulty sleeping, stiffness and irritable bowel syndrome. While researchers have not found the exact cause of fibromyalgia, they have pinpointed common triggers – such as stress, little sleep, too cold or too humid weather and too much or too little activity – that make this condition worse. Medications, regular exercise, reducing stress and eliminating certain foods from your diet can work to help manage and relieve the symptoms.

Is medicine the only way to help relieve symptoms of rheumatic diseases?

We recommend several treatment options for relieving the symptoms of rheumatic diseases. If medication is available for your condition, we will prescribe it in addition to recommending lifestyle changes. A healthy diet, regular exercise, weight loss, limiting alcohol and stopping smoking are all important actions you can take in successfully relieving symptoms. Depending on your condition, we may also recommend physical and occupational therapies.

Will I be able to be active again?

Our goal is to help you restore your quality of life! While most rheumatic diseases have no cure, there are treatment options that will help relieve the pain and inflammation. Medications and a healthy lifestyle are important in managing the symptoms. Regular exercise is also vital in treating rheumatic diseases. Many patients become inactive because of the pain they are experiencing, making their condition worse. By exercising and remaining active, you can get back to life and enjoy it!

Rheumatology Associates of Long Island

  • Rheumatology Associates of Long Island - 315 Middle Country Rd., Smithtown, NY 11787 Phone: 631-360-7778
  • Port Jefferson Station - 7 Medical Dr., Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776 Phone: 631-928-4885
  • Melville - 1895 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, NY 11747 Phone: 631-249-9525
  • Staten Island - 1200 South Ave., Suite 307, Staten Island, NY 10314 Phone:

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