BMI Bath ClinicClaverton Down Road, Combe Down, Bath, BA2 7BR Directions
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Outpatients: 7am - 8pm
Inpatients: 24 hours
Due to COVID restrictions no visitors are currently allowed
Expert assessment and treatment for your joint and muscle pains
Our musculoskeletal system is made up of numerous joints, muscles, ligaments and bones. It plays such an important role in our ability to use our body that even a seemingly small problem anywhere in it can have a significant impact on our health, vitality and quality of life.
Rheumatic problems are usually long-term (chronic). Many of the people who come to us for help have been struggling with their pain for a long time and will often have seen a number of different doctors in other fields for help.
When you visit BMI Bath Clinic, fast access to a leading Consultant Rheumatologist means you will receive best-in-class assessment, diagnosis and treatment for your rheumatic condition and symptoms. Our Rheumatology team would be delighted to help you benefit from the most appropriate support for your specific condition, sooner.
Some rheumatic conditions (such as lupus or the connective tissue diseases) are rare and are best treated by an expert who subspecialises in that particular condition. For that reason, we always recommend that people who want to self-refer look at our consultant profiles to see who the expert is for their particular condition.
Common reasons people visit us for help are:
Conditions that can cause these symptoms include:
If you have one or more of these symptoms or conditions, it can be sensible to see a rheumatologist. We can easily arrange an appointment for you at BMI Bath Clinic, in our stunning hospital location just outside the historic city of Bath.
There is no ‘on size fits all’ treatment for rheumatic conditions, and treatment is always best when carefully calibrated to the individual. The value of seeing an experienced Consultant Rheumatologist is in benefitting from a bespoke treatment plan which may not be available as easily or quickly through other routes.
Due to the extensive nature of the musculoskeletal system, and the many varied conditions that can affect it, a rheumatologist takes a holistic approach to treatment, looking at every aspect of your health, fitness and lifestyle to help tailor treatment to your specific needs.
Symptoms for many conditions may flare up periodically, or new ones might appear. By closely monitoring the results of any treatment, your consultant can make changes when needed to provide you with the best possible ongoing relief of symptoms. Treatment is always very much a collaboration between you and your consultant, and its important you let them know if your symptoms change.
Many diseases that affect the joints and muscles can often be managed well without the need for surgery.
Treatment might involve physical therapy to help strengthen muscles and increase flexibility and mobility in painful joints. Our superb on-site physiotherapy team work closely with the Rheumatology team to provide the necessary guidance and support for this.
Where a rheumatic condition is caused by inflammation, various medicines are available to help reduce swelling and to relieve pain. If your pain is not being suitably managed with over-the-counter medication, your consultant may prescribe stronger painkillers when appropriate. Strength and frequency of medication can be adjusted as needed to get the right balance of symptom relief vs. risk of side effects.
Steroid injections are a common treatment for rheumatic conditions, offering both anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits. If these help to relieve your symptoms they can be repeated periodically. Depending on the exact source of your pain, these injections may be given by your rheumatologist in clinic or by a radiologist under ultrasound guidance to help ensure precision.
Around one third of people who suffer with a rheumatic condition will end up on advanced therapies to manage their symptoms. Following a careful assessment and discussion with your consultant, and if appropriate for your condition, you may be able to access advanced therapies that are rationed in the NHS due to cost. Your consultant works extremely closely with specialists in other fields, like Dermatology and Gastroenterology, when required. This close collaboration ensures you receive the best treatment for your condition, from the most appropriate specialist.
If conservative treatment options are not able to manage your symptoms, surgery may be an option. It’s important to know that surgery is not often needed, but it can be helpful for those with particularly severe symptoms, such as those caused by advanced rheumatoid arthritis. Where damage to a joint is extensive, joint replacement surgery may be advised. This operation replaces the damaged joint with an artificial implant to restore pain-free movement. If this would be appropriate treatment for you, your consultant will refer you to one of the excellent orthopaedic surgeons at the hospital.
If you have severe Crohn’s Disease, surgery may be advised to remove part of the bowel. In this case, you would be referred to a General Surgeon or Colorectal Surgeon at the hospital.
Whatever symptoms or condition you are struggling with, the highly experienced Rheumatology team at BMI Bath Clinic will ensure you receive the most effective, evidence-based treatment for your specific needs at all times.
When you come to BMI Bath Clinic for your initial consultation, your rheumatologist will be looking to determine the precise cause of your symptoms. They will take a medical history and ask you to describe your symptoms in detail. They may ask you questions like:
They will carry out a physical examination, which may involve moving the affected joint or limb to determine your current range of movement and to see the precise points you feel any pain or stiffness.
Blood tests can be helpful when investigating many rheumatic issues. Other common diagnostic investigations are X-ray, ultrasound and an MRI scan, all of which are quickly and easily arranged for you on-site.
Other tests that may be requested by your consultant include a CT scan, DEXA scan (to measure bone mineral density) and a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan. These can all be arranged by your consultant if needed, and some of them may be done off-site.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your consultant will tailor a treatment plan. This will always be discussed with you fully so that you can make an informed choice about treatment.
It may be that a diagnosis can be made within your first consultation. When this happens, treatment can often begin right away with either a steroid injection or prescription for medication.
if surgery is needed, your consultant will discuss options with you and coordinate with the relevant surgeon on your behalf.
If you have any questions or concerns at any time, your consultant will always be very happy to discuss these with you.
If you are at all worried or concerned about any symptoms relating to joint or muscle pain, why not book a consultation with one of our Rheumatology specialists? They will help you to get clarity about what is causing your symptoms and what the most suitable treatment options are for you going forward.
We very much look forward to welcoming you to BMI Bath Clinic and helping to get your symptoms better controlled as soon as possible.
Pay for yourself with our fixed price packages. This includes your pre-assessment, treatment, follow-ups and 6 months' aftercare
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Pay for yourself with the BMI card and spread the cost over 12 months, interest-free (terms and conditions apply)