Arthritis & Rheumatology

At Indiana University Health, we help you manage rheumatic diseases so you can stay as active and pain-free as possible. Our rheumatology physicians treat a range of rheumatic conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritisgoutlupusankylosing spondylitispsoriatic arthritisscleroderma and bursitis.

Our rheumatologists work with you and your primary care physician to evaluate your symptoms and design a treatment plan that manages your condition with innovative treatments and techniques. Rheumatic diseases often affect more than one system in your body. Therefore, your comprehensive care may include healthcare professionals such as pulmonologists, gastroenterologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists.

We also focus on patient education and teaching you about the whys and hows of your disease. The better informed you are about your condition, the more proactive you can be in your treatment.

At Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, we are experts in caring for patients with complicated rheumatic diseases. Our success is backed by years of clinical experience and the latest technology and treatments. We offer the highest level of care for patients with difficult-to-define symptoms and complex rheumatic conditions.

Education

As part of a successful treatment plan, our specialists in rheumatology educate you on how diet and exercise can help joint, muscle and connective tissue conditions. A balanced diet, including vitamin- and mineral-rich fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, can help reduce swelling and inflammation in joints, as well as help you achieve an optimal weight. In addition, exercises to increase range of motion, strength and endurance can help you manage pain and reduce arthritis symptoms.

Medical Care

Personalized, comprehensive services include the latest in diagnostic and therapeutic care of rheumatic diseases. As a hospital-based clinic, we have access to every possible resource, including orthopedic surgery, physical and occupational rehabilitation services and musculoskeletal ultrasound, when needed.

Often, patients suffering from rheumatology diseases benefit from medicines to relieve pain and inflammation and improve function. Medication options may include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen
  • Prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication
  • Topical ointments
  • Gluccocortitoids (steroids), which are given orally or injected into the joint to relieve inflammation
  • Disease modifying and remitting drugs (DMARDS)
  • Biologic response modifiers, which are highly specific agents that are created in the lab to attack the immune system at a cellular level. They upset the immune system responses to prevent bone damage and significantly slow down the disease.

Physical Therapy

Our physical therapy programs are specifically designed to help patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions retain or regain normal activity levels. Physical therapists provide individualized assessments for every patient. We develop an exercise plan to help increase strength and flexibility and avoid joint problems as the disease progresses. With focused therapy, you can achieve your goal of remaining on the move.