Most everyone has experienced muscle and joint pain from time to time. When your muscle and joint pain is not resolving as one would expect, a rheumatology evaluation may be needed. Typically, your primary care provider is seen for the first evaluation. If there is concern for an underlying rheumatic condition, you'll be referred to Rheumatology for evaluation.
Earlier referral should be made if you have relatives with autoimmune (when the body comes under attack by its own immune system) or rheumatic disease (as these conditions run in families) or if the symptoms are significantly worsening over a short period of time. Joint damage can occur if the symptoms of joint pain are ignored or not treated properly. This damage cannot always be reversed with treatment and may be permanent. Do not delay appropriate evaluation.