Rheumatology refers to the branch of medicine focusing on rheumatic disorders of the body (degeneration and inflammation of body joints, tendons, muscles, bones and nerves).  The word is based on the Greek root ‘rheuma’ meaning flow or stream and ‘logia’ meaning the study of. 

Rheumatologists are specifically trained to diagnose and treat rheumatic diseases which cause swelling, inflammation and pain.  Examples are:  osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, scleroderma, and lupus.

According to the Canadian Arthritis Society “there are over 100 types of arthritis”, “4.6 million Canadians have arthritis” and of this number “61,500 children and youth have arthritis”.   In a nutshell, it is a devastating and significant health condition of our times.  Early diagnosis of rheumatic conditions is essential in order that appropriate treatment can begin.  Some forms are complex and may need several visits to a rheumatologist to determine diagnosis and treatment.

There are many naturopathic physicians and doctors of Chinese medicine who deal with rheumatism concerns.   As well, there are several physicians who specialize in treating conditions of the musculoskeletal system and autoimmune diseases.

Living with rheumatic conditions usually involves a treatment team which can include physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and nutritionists.  The Arthritis Society advocates that individuals dealing with arthritis needs to see themselves “as part of the team of people involved in their treatment and care.”1



Specific Techniques


Select a region to view to corresponding Rheumatology professionals operating there: