Rheumatology is the subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with joints, muscles, and bones. Rheumatologists must first complete seven or more years of medical school and postgraduate training then become board certified in Internal Medicine. Then, for an additional two to three years, they study conditions specific to the musculoskeletal system – arthritis, certain autoimmune diseases, pain disorders and osteoporosis.
Rheumatologists are specially trained to do the detective work necessary to discover the cause of swelling and pain. It could be one of more than 100 diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, back pain, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia or tendonitis.