Investigations in rheumatism
In the case history, the patient's history is questioned. Both the localization (which joints are affected?) And the character of the complaint (are the joints stiff in the morning, since when are the symptoms?) And concomitant symptoms (on the skin, eyes or other organs) provide information on the type of rheumatism.
- Inspection (viewing) and functional tests
A swelling of the joints (rheumatoid arthritis), an inflamed Großzehengelenk (gout) and a restriction of movement (lumbago) are clearly visible. As each joint flexes and flexes in a characteristic way, the range of motion is tested by testing all joints. Especially in the course of the disease, these values show whether the disease continues (as is often the case with Bechterew's disease) or whether anti-inflammatory therapy is successful.
With this method, the bone density is tested - especially important in osteoporosis. Blood tests and hormone studies then help to find the cause of the increased bone loss.
- blood tests
Blood tests also show the autoimmune antibodies used by the immune system to attack one's body. With a sample (biopsy) of the affected tissue, especially in connective tissue diseases, the disease can then better be assigned to the multitude of rheumatic diseases.
- X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging
The imaging techniques document the extent of damage to the skeleton. Inflammatory changes often show clear differences in the X-ray image compared to the healthy side. Ultrasound reveals joint and muscle changes. Rarely is it looked into a joint - this requires an arthroscope.