At Capital Health – Rheumatology Specialists, we diagnose and treat diseases involving the muscles, joints, bones, and immune system commonly referred to as rheumatic diseases. Several of these are autoimmune in origin. Autoimmune diseases are complex conditions that can affect almost any part of the body. A healthy immune system helps protect your body from outside invaders, like a cold virus or bacteria in minor cuts and scrapes. But problems with your immune system may cause it to treat healthy cells in your own body as invaders. The most common symptom is inflammation that can cause pain and swelling. Dr. Prabhakaran helps patients affected by autoimmune diseases by understanding and accurately diagnosing a range of conditions, including (but not limited to):
- Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by joint swelling and pain, leading to deformities if untreated. May involve eyes, lungs, and heart.
- Psoriatic arthritis is more commonly seen in association with psoriasis of skin (may be seen without it as well) and affects joints in the back, pelvis, and extremities.
- Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine primarily.
Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are autoimmune inflammatory diseases affecting the muscles and blood vessels causing loss muscle mass and weakness.
Also referred to as systemic lupus erythematosus, it can affect multiple organs and can cause fatigue, rashes, and joint pain.
- Scleroderma is characterized by thickening of the skin due to fibrosis (scarring), which can also involve the lungs and gastrointestinal system.
- Vasculitis causes inflammation of the blood vessels, including veins and arteries and affects the organs they supply.
- Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)
PMR is seen in adults over age 50 and causes general aching and stiffness.
- Giant cell arteritis causes swelling and thickening of the temporal artery and can occur with polymyalgia rheumatica
- Rheumatic diseases also include gout and pseudogout, which are secondary to deposition of abnormal crystals in the joints.
- Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis, commonly referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis, commonly affecting knees, hips, shoulders.
All of our cutting-edge testing and imaging technology is available under one roof at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell. Here are some of the tests we use to accurately diagnose your condition and develop a plan for your care:
- Lab tests (blood work and urine test)
- CT scans
- Diagnostic joint aspiration (analysis of joint fluid, collected via syringe)
Medication is the primary form of treatment. Through prescriptions and careful monitoring, we work with you to reduce immune responsiveness, control the symptoms of the disease, and help prevent long-term complications that can develop. Patients may be prescribed medicines commonly referred to as immunosuppressive agents, including steroids, disease modifying agents (DMARDs), or biologics (genetically-engineered from human genes). Patients requiring infusions can receive them on-site at our Infusion Center. We also perform therapeutic joint aspirations and injections on an outpatient basis to help relieve pain and pressure.
Physical and occupational therapy also play important roles in treatment. Physical therapists help patients manage arthritis pain and maintain mobility and function. Occupational therapists work with patients to identify challenges they face in daily activities and find ways to adapt and overcome them. Our Center for Outpatient Rehabilitation at Capital Health Medical Center - Hopewell is located at the same campus.