Who treats joints, which doctor

There is no such profession as a specialist in joints, but there are doctors who can help solve the problems of the musculoskeletal system. Pain in the articular region cannot occur just like that, since it is protected by cartilage, and therefore pain and discomfort are not the result of weather conditions or an uncomfortable posture. A good doctor who treats joints helps to understand the diagnosis, the main thing is to know who to turn to.

How to understand that it’s time to go to the doctor?

Arthrosis, arthritis, polyarthritis, gout – this is an incomplete list of diseases that attack the joints, interfering with the full movement, and causing intense pain. But they have one thing in common – if you delay it with treatment, any of the diseases will lead to a restriction of motor activity, and as a result, disability will occur.

Healthy joints will not hurt, therefore, at the slightest episode of discomfort or pain, you must consult a specialist.

The main signs that should alert:

  • pain in the limbs, back or thigh, which is of a different nature;
  • extraneous sounds, crunching in joints, when trying to bend or unbend your knees or arms;
  • redness and swelling in the folds;
  • swelling of the limbs that hurt;
  • limitation of joint mobility.

Which doctor treats joints?

For treatment of joints, you may need to contact several specialists. The choice of a doctor who can check the condition of the skeleton and muscles will depend on the alleged reasons:

  • Pain can be caused by a sprained, dislocated, or cracked bone. It occurs if a person on the eve did sports, during which he fell, made a sharp movement of his arms or legs, and lifted heavy objects. Contact a traumatologist.
  • If the first option is excluded, but there are swelling and redness – this can signal joint disease. The testing specialist in this case is an orthopedist, less often a therapist.
  • If discomfort is localized in the elbow, knee or hip joint, the development of osteoarthritis is possible. Here consultation of the rheumatologist or surgeon is necessary.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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What does a traumatologist do?

A doctor who deals with joints, as well as treating injuries in case of damage to bones, muscles. It provides first aid to damaged knee ligaments. In addition, a traumatologist often treats the spine, flat feet and various types of foot deformities. The list does not end there, the doctor’s competence includes the following diseases:

  • arthrosis and arthritis;
  • necrosis;
  • tumors of the limbs;
  • osteoarthritis;
  • bruises.

The specificity of the profession is that those patients who are brought in an ambulance get to the traumatologist. But you can turn to this specialist on your own with symptoms such as:

  • swelling and severe pain in the leg or arm;
  • pain arising after an impact;
  • deformation of the spine or limbs.


As a rule, doctors of this specialty are neurologists or surgeons who have passed additional specialization. Chiropractor – a doctor who treats knee and elbow joints, muscles or ligaments by massage. He also checks the spine and its adjacent organs. The list of problems that the chiropractor deals with:

  • vertebral hernia;
  • violation of posture;
  • local pain and numbness in the joints;
  • VSD;
  • feeling unwell due to back or joint problems.

The chiropractor additionally deals with infectious lesions of the articular tissues.

Arthrologist – Joint Master

A doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and arthrosis is called an arthrologist. This is a specialist in surgical profile, responsible for the treatment of diseases in the knee or elbow joint, periarticular tissues. In addition to arthritis and arthrosis, there are many diseases of an inflammatory nature that are included in the list of responsibility of an arthrologist. These are about 120 ailments that affect the musculoskeletal system, the following are considered common:

  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • gout;
  • osteoporosis;
  • osteoarthritis and osteoarthritis;
  • reactive and psoriatic arthritis;
  • soft tissue periarticular diseases;
  • joint disease called ankylosing spondylitis.

Why is an orthopedist needed?

If the clinic does not have an arthrologist, an orthopedist can replace him. The section of surgery – orthopedics, studies the bone and muscle apparatus, diseases of which cause pathological changes in the skeleton. The orthopedist looks at the external manifestations of the deformity, and, if necessary, prescribes a series of examinations. The doctor’s competence includes the following diseases:

  • osteoporosis and osteochondrosis;
  • flat feet;
  • valgus and varus;
  • bursitis;
  • heel spur;
  • radiculitis;
  • dysplasia;
  • scoliosis.

Surgeon – a broad master

A specialist who deals with all types of diseases, the treatment of which requires surgical intervention. Surgery is used in almost all areas of medicine, including arthrology, orthopedics and traumatology. The work of the surgeon is based on the solution of such problems as:

  • soft tissue inflammation;
  • infectious and parasitic diseases;
  • congenital malformations;
  • injuries.

Osteopath or massage specialist

A highly qualified doctor who, with the help of hands, identifies diseases in the bone structure or finds the cause of muscle spasm. An osteopath can be called a palpation master, who is able to capture even minimal changes in muscles and joints. This doctor eliminates the displacement of organs and bones, changes in the spine. His competence includes the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system, including scoliosis, a problem with joints and muscles.

Joint treatment: which doctor will help cope with pain

As a rule, they ask this question even when the pain is very severe. The name of the doctor who will help sore joints, everyone needs to know, because damage to the joint tissue can occur in any person, regardless of age, gender and social status.

How to check joints

People who suffer from joint diseases sometimes ignore the symptoms. This leads to the transition of diseases to the next stages, which are more difficult to deal with. So, if the hip joint is not treated, prosthetics will be required, the pathology of the spine and knee joint will limit the motor function of a person. Inflammation can affect bones, ligaments, and muscles.

When asking how to check the health of joints, one needs to know the characteristic symptoms of their damage. If signs of the disease are found, contact a specialist.

Joint pain

It accompanies all joint damage. It happens: aching, stitching, constant or periodic, dull and sharp, twitching, strong or weakly expressed. It appears in the affected joint, can radiate to bones, muscles, tendons. It occurs with intense loads on the legs – running, descending / climbing stairs. Sometimes loads ease the condition.

Note! Often the pain is especially disturbing after sleep, rest. Gradually, when walking and other physical exertion, it decreases. This phenomenon indicates the pathology of the joint and the need for a medical examination.

Crunch and limited movement

Cracking in the knees can occur at a young age with increased load. In addition to the knees, it can appear in other joints:

This indicates possible degenerative processes in the joint.

Limited mobility occurs due to insufficient synovial fluid and the formation of bone spikes.

Joint inflammation and blockade

  1. Redness of the skin in the articular region.
  2. Its temperature is higher than that of the rest of the skin.
  3. Joint pain.
  4. General condition worsening.

Jamming, or blockage, occurs in the later stages of the disease. This condition is characterized by sudden immobilization of the joint. This provokes pinching and severe pain.

Note! Jamming can take place on its own, with active movements of the foot or hand (depending on its location).


This is an advanced stage of the disease. It is difficult not to notice the deformation of the contours of the joint, it is striking. In addition to the aesthetic defect, there are severe pains, in some cases, a person can become an invalid who cannot serve himself.

Joint doctor

Joint diseases are the responsibility of several doctors. Who to contact depends on the degree of development of the pathology. Therapist is involved in the treatment at the initial stage. It will be directed to him at the registry when handling signs of the disease. After examination and initial diagnosis, he gives a referral to a specialist.

Family doctor

If family medicine is practiced in the clinic, then a referral will be given to the doctor of this specialty. This doctor has a broader body of knowledge in medical science.

Note! Your family doctor may prescribe treatment based on your symptoms. A referral to a specialist specialist will be issued if treatment has failed.


Who is a rheumatologist, a question may arise. This is a doctor who treats diseases of the joints and connective tissues. If you look at the statistics, then most of the cases are the treatment of inflammation of the joint tissues. Acute inflammation can be diagnosed by the following symptoms:

  1. Changes in the general analysis of blood.
  2. Edema and redness of periarticular tissues.
  3. Pain syndrome.

Diseases treated by a rheumatologist:

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis. First, pain appears in the joints of the hands and feet, then spreads to large joints of the limbs. Deformation of the articular tissue develops, which becomes noticeable. Manifested by morning stiffness.
  2. Reactive arthritis. This pathology affects one or more areas. Moreover, the cause of the development of lesions is a previously transmitted infectious disease. The onset is acute with severe pain.
  3. Autoimmune diseases affecting the joints. With this pathology, the protective function of the immune system is disrupted. The first characteristic manifestations: pain and swelling of the joints.
  4. Inflammation associated with metabolic disorders. The most common disease in this group is gout. It begins like many other joint diseases, so the patient does not respond on time and does not consult a doctor. The thumbs on the arm or leg are affected. Suffer from this disease more often than men.

Note! It is almost impossible to get a direct appointment with a rheumatologist in a state clinic. To do this, you need an examination and referral by a therapist, family doctor. As for private clinics, there you can immediately get to the target specialist.

Orthopedic Traumatologist

An orthopedic traumatologist can check the condition of joints and treat their diseases. They give him direction for an additional examination for the following symptoms that appear after an injury:

Doctors in this specialty are involved in the treatment of:

  1. Osteochondropathy. This pathology is characterized by damage to cartilage and bones. Pathology manifests itself in pain, crunch, stiffness.
  2. Osteoporosis. It occurs due to a violation of phosphorus-calcium metabolism in old age. In this case, calcium is washed out of the bones, they become fragile.
  3. Deforming osteoarthrosis. At the initial stages, a therapist can be treated, in advanced cases, an orthopedist will help. In some cases, prosthetics are needed.

He also specializes in post-traumatic conditions.

Note! The stage when prosthetics are needed belongs to the competence of the surgeon.


In order for the treatment to be effective and timely, the patient needs to see a doctor of the appropriate specialization. Now knowing which doctor heals the joints, this is not difficult. It is worth remembering: the sooner you turn, the greater the likelihood of a complete cure.

Which doctor should be consulted for pain in the joints

Which doctor should I contact for joint pain? This question worries more than 30% of the adult population of the Earth. This is the number of people exposed to this pathology. Taking into account the fact that only those who applied for help get into the statistical data, the actual spread of the disease is much wider. Life expectancy is steadily increasing, the population is “aging”, and diseases, on the contrary, are “getting younger” every year due to environmental degradation and total industrialization of places of residence.

After forty years, the percentage of incidence increases to 50%, and after seventy – up to 90%, that is, we can talk about the “epidemic”. Such a number of people with limited mobility are not just deprived of a normal life – they are a burden on the rest of the population and the health care system, which are forced to provide them with proper treatment and an acceptable lifestyle.

Pain as a symptom for early diagnosis

Our body is an ideal complex of life support systems, which is still not within the power to copy any, the most advanced science. And as a well-functioning mechanism, it has its own warning system in case of malfunctions, most often it is a pain syndrome. Therefore, we must be grateful for the pain that by causing discomfort and suffering, it often saves life by signaling danger in time.

In addition to pain, impaired joint function may be indicated by:

  • Cracking in the joints during movement;
  • Stiffness or pathological bending of the joints;
  • Unexpected jamming;
  • Swelling of the periarticular tissues;
  • Hyperemia of the skin of varying intensity;
  • An increase in temperature in the area of ​​inflammation;
  • Joint deformation.

Most people, and this is understandable, do not like to see doctors. They prefer to poison themselves with killer doses of painkillers, earning new sores, rather than consult a specialist. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that many simply do not know which doctor to contact if the joints hurt. And some are not even able to distinguish joint pain from the inflamed tissue next to them.

Arthritis is a table enemy

A joint is a very complex structure, consisting of a movable joint of two or more bones and a whole system of cartilage, ligaments and tendons, ensuring its movement. Accordingly, there are also many joint diseases. All of them make up a large group with a common definition – arthritis.

When one joint is affected, we are talking about monoarthritis, up to three about oligoarthritis, and the disease of more than three joints is called polyarthritis. The most insidious forms of arthritis caused by infections. When pain occurs in a person whose lifestyle is associated with increased physical exertion, he usually consults a doctor, believing that hard work could affect the joints. But infectious arthritis can occur for no apparent reason, and many patients delay a visit to the hospital, taking painkillers.

Joint Diseases – Diagnosis

If a person wondered which doctor to consult for pain in the joints, and did not start treatment on the principle: “Vali also had it, this helped her,” is already good. Even better, when he knows the narrow specialty of the right doctor. But such knowledge is given either by a medical education, or by the sad experience of long-term treatment. For the initial treatment of any painful manifestations, therapy is intended.

Doctors and general practitioners receive a universal education, which allows them to draw a correct picture of the occurrence and course of the disease from a huge amount of data. A competent therapist can easily distinguish joint pains occurring due to pinching of a nerve from those caused by an infectious lesion. In addition, by linking the symptoms, test results and medical history, the doctor can make a conclusion about the possibility of a systemic disease or complication due to the flu or other infection.

For the first time, turning to the hospital with complaints of joint pain, a person is sent for an examination including:

  • Urinalysis;
  • Blood test;
  • Biochemical research;
  • X-ray of a diseased organ.

After that, the therapist makes a preliminary diagnosis, prescribes treatment, or, if necessary, sends to a specialist.

Recently, when a question arises, what kind of doctor to contact when joints are sore, there is an opportunity to choose between a local therapist and a family doctor. Like the therapist, the family doctor examines the patient as a whole. However, the authority of the family doctor is wider. It can treat mild manifestations of many joint diseases. And he resorted to the help of a narrow specialist in case of difficulties with making a diagnosis or the ineffectiveness of therapeutic treatment.

When observing all family members, it is easier for the doctor to identify hereditary diseases that can affect the health of the joints and determine the cause of the disease.

Causes and types of arthritis

When a person has joint pain, no matter what doctor he goes to, it’s better than removing symptoms himself, without understanding the nature of the disease. The cause of the pain can be much more serious and dangerous than it seems to the inexperienced gaze of a person without a medical education.

Osteoarthritis is the most common disease among arthritis. A change in the quality characteristics of cartilage, ligaments and tendons leading to joint dysfunction. The characteristic localization of osteoarthritis: knees, hands, spine. The disease manifests itself through increased sensitivity of the joints, pain, bone growths. In addition to drug treatment, it is useful to turn to proper nutrition and, if possible, reduce weight, for unloading joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis – this type of arthritis helps to diagnose a feature such as symmetrical organ damage. It causes pain, swelling, limited mobility and general weakness. It is believed that the cause of this deadly disease can be viruses that cause the immune system to attack the organs of their own body. Successful treatment of rheumatoid arthritis depends largely on an early diagnosis and treatment intensity. These factors contribute to prolonging the patient’s life and preventing disability.

Temporal arteritis is an inflammatory process in the vessels of the brain and eyes that causes an unbearable headache. Without treatment, it is complicated by attacks of ischemia, cerebral hemorrhage, complete and irreversible loss of vision. Temporal arteritis is often accompanied by polymyalgia rheumatism.

Rheumatic polymyalgia – inflammation of large joints: shoulder, femur. At the beginning of the disease, the only symptom indicating the disease can be only severe weakness, later a person can lose weight dramatically, lose joint mobility and often observe elevated temperature. The nature of both of these diseases is still being established. One of the reasons is an attack of one’s own immune system, provoked by viruses.

Fibromyalgia – so far there has not been a single case of cure of this disease. It is considered chronic and manifests itself in many painful foci on the roofing, weakness and sleep disturbance. The traumatic causes of this disease are excluded, but the exact nature is still unknown. Some see the cause in the imbalance of the endocrine system, others in the congenital pathology of nerve cells associated with hypersensitivity. The treatment is symptomatic.

Depression is not a seasonal decrease in tone associated with a depressed mood, but a serious illness accompanied by, including unexplained joint pain. Therefore, if you suspect depression, you must consult a doctor.

Doctors specialization

As already mentioned, the therapist gives a referral to a specialist. But this does not mean that you do not need to know which doctor should deal with your problem.

  1. Arthrologist. Osteoarthrosis, bursitis and other inflammatory changes in the periarticular tissues. In especially difficult cases, it can carry out surgical intervention.
  2. Venereologist. Joint pathologies due to sexually transmitted infections. Conducts therapy for joint disease along with the underlying disease, which was its cause.
  3. Infectionist. Secondary arthritis after hepatitis, lupus and other viral infestations. Prescribes a course of treatment, including ointments, tablets, injections.
  4. Neuropathologist. Joint pain associated with impaired nerve endings, with spinal deformity or inflammation. Conducts conservative treatment of the cause of pain.
  5. Rheumatologist. Rheumatic, rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Diagnoses and prescribes treatment in the form of ointments, tablets, injections.
  6. Orthopedist. Arthrosis in the second stage. Massages, exercise therapy, tablets, ointments, injections.
  7. Surgeon or orthopedic traumatologist. Post-traumatic joint pain. Surgery to restore the motor function of the joint, or replace it with a prosthesis.
  8. Endocrinologist. Diseases of the joints due to metabolic disorders. Drug therapy.

Sometimes, a patient is treated by several doctors.


No matter how informative an article on the Internet is, it cannot serve as a basis for self-diagnosis and self-medication.

Which doctor treats the joints of the arms and legs?

Treatment in our clinic:

  • Free medical consultation
  • Quick elimination of pain;
  • Our goal: full restoration and improvement of impaired functions;
  • Visible improvements after 1-2 sessions; Safe non-surgical methods.

Inflammatory diseases of the joints of the hands and feet are more common in young and middle-aged people. But degenerative changes in cartilage tissue are the lot of older people who have crossed the 45-year frontier of their lives. In the first and second cases, timely treatment with the right choice of a doctor who treats the joints of the arms and legs, a complete recovery is possible without loss of disability of motor activity.

Which doctor treats the joints of the hands in a city clinic?

As a rule, the initial appointment and examination is carried out by a physician, who, on the basis of the obtained laboratory data, can appoint a consultation of a neurologist, surgeon, orthopedist and rheumatologist. These specialists will routinely recommend symptomatic treatment, since the most progressive pharmacological drugs, which, in essence, must restore the structure of cartilage, act extremely weakly and selectively.

Basically, the action of chondroprotectors can be activated only with intra-articular administration of the drug. This medical manipulation does not guarantee a positive result, while it is highly traumatic and risky in terms of septic post-infection inflammation.

Other conservative treatments for the joints of the arms and legs include:

  1. limitation of mobility – leads to an even greater deterioration in the blood supply to cartilage;
  2. the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – relieve pain, but at the same time have a negative effect on the digestive tract and cause a violation of erythropoiesis with subsequent anemia;
  3. novocaine blockade – are exclusively symptomatic measures that block pain only for a short time;
  4. intraarticular administration of steroid drugs – reduce inflammation and stop pain, but at the same time contribute to the rapid leaching of calcium from the bones, due to which deforming osteoarthrosis progresses.

Also in the doctor’s arsenal there are various physiotherapy procedures that can have not entirely predictable consequences in the form of a risk of benign and malignant neoplasms, destruction of cartilage and bone tissue, an increased background of patient exposure and many other pathological factors of influence.

In this case, no one not only does not guarantee, but does not promise. According to the standards of official medicine, all diseases of the joints of the hands and feet belong to incurable pathologies, which can be dealt with only by partial or complete arthroplasty. Accordingly, all treatment is directed only to the elimination of pain. The cause of the pathology is not taken into account. The exception is rheumatoid processes, in which antibiotic therapy is actively used.

It is very important to understand and know which doctor treats the joints of the hands and feet with a guarantee of recovery and without risk to the patient’s health. We will talk about this further.

To which doctor to make an appointment

How is the pathology of the joints of the hands and feetWhich specialist treats
Pain, swelling, redness of the skin around the jointChiropractor (in the city clinic therapist or rheumatologist)
Crunch on movement, limitation of mobilityOsteopath or orthopedist
Pulls muscles, painfully moving arm or legNeurologist (in the city clinic – a neuropathologist)
It hurts to step on the foot or raise a hand up, the stiffness of movements is feltChiropractor, orthopedist, osteopath or neurologist

Which doctor treats the joints of the legs and hands most effectively?

We have already talked about how the treatment of large and small joints of the arms and legs occurs in the plane of official medicine, which does not have effective means for this process in its arsenal. As a rule, people remain disabled and are forced to resort to surgery to restore their physical activity. But what kind of doctor treats the joints of the legs and hands most effectively and safely for human health, let’s talk now.

In our clinic of manual therapy every year hundreds and thousands of patients undergo successful rehabilitation treatment of various pathologies of the joints of the arms and legs. In our area of ​​competence are pathologies such as:

  • arthritis and arthrosis of the knee, elbow, shoulder-shoulder, hip, wrist and ankle joints;
  • tenosynovitis and bursitis;
  • sprains of the ligamentous apparatus and microscopic tears of muscle tissue;
  • deforming osteoarthritis;
  • coxalgia.

For all types of pathology, for successful treatment it is necessary to create favorable conditions for the internal regeneration of body tissues. To this end, it is important to provide physiological blood supply to tissues – this is achieved through therapeutic massage, physical education and manual exposure. It is also important to eliminate soft tissue compression, which causes severe pain. Osteopathy is also used for this. The protective and regenerative forces of the body are stimulated by acupuncture effects on biologically active points on the human body.

Which doctor treats the joints of the legs and hands in our clinic? You can learn the exact answer to this question during an individual preliminary consultation, during which the specialist will get acquainted with your medical history and recommend a suitable treatment regimen. Initial consultation is provided absolutely free of charge.

Remember! Self-medication can be dangerous! See a doctor

Morozov Georgiy

Georgy Morozov, rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases.