Find Relief with Expert Rheumatologist Care for Joint and Arthritis Management

Are you struggling with joint pain or stiffness? It’s time to consider a rheumatologist. These specialists manage complex conditions like arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia, offering treatments that can significantly improve your life. Learn about when to see a rheumatologist, what conditions they treat, and the relief they can provide in our in-depth guide.

Key Takeaways

  • Rheumatologists are physicians who specialise in diagnosing and treating over 100 types of rheumatic diseases involving inflammation in connective tissues such as joints and muscles and often require complex, extended medical training.
  • Early detection and treatment of rheumatic diseases are critical to preventing irreversible damage, with diagnostic tools and tests being essential to managing the diverse nature of these conditions effectively.
  • Comprehensive rheumatology care includes a combination of medications, therapies, lifestyle changes, and ongoing monitoring and is supported by patient resources and specialised services to improve quality of life and manage chronic symptoms.

Understanding Rheumatology: The Role of a Rheumatologist

Illustration of a rheumatologist consulting with a patient

Rheumatology, a specialised branch of internal medicine, addresses complex conditions called rheumatic diseases. These typically involve inflammation, pain, and stiffness in joints, bones, muscles, and other connective tissues. But what sets rheumatic diseases apart is their widespread impact on the body and the critical role of the immune system in their development.

At the heart of this speciality are rheumatologists, physicians who have undergone rigorous training to provide expert care to those living with these challenging conditions. From the common arthritis to the less known lupus and fibromyalgia, they navigate the complex landscape of rheumatic diseases with expert precision.

What is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology is the area of medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating rheumatic diseases. These include a variety of conditions, such as:

  • arthritis
  • tendonitis
  • bursitis
  • autoimmune diseases
  • chronic pain syndromes
  • degenerative joint diseases

All of these connective tissue disorders are characterised by inflammation and damage to the body’s connective tissues like joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and soft tissues such as muscles, often resulting from an underlying inflammatory condition.

The field spans both adult rheumatology and paediatric rheumatology, providing holistic care to individuals across all stages of life.

Who is a Rheumatologist?

Physicians specialising in conditions affecting joints, muscles, and bones are known as rheumatologists. They are the detectives of the medical world, piecing together the symptoms, medical history, and diagnostic test results to decipher the complex puzzle of rheumatic diseases.

The path to becoming a rheumatologist is a challenging one. Following medical school, prospective rheumatologists will undergo some years of experience as a registrar then must complete dual training in internal medicine and rheumatology for up to 5 years of extensive training to acquire knowledge in diagnosing/managing or excluding rheumatologic disease. This rigorous training equips them with the expertise to diagnose and manage over 100 types of rheumatic diseases, making them the go-to professionals for anyone experiencing persistent joint or muscle pain.

Conditions Treated by Rheumatologists

Photo of a person receiving physical therapy for rheumatic condition

A wide array of conditions falls under the treatment purview of rheumatologists. Some of these conditions include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Psoriatic arthropathy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Lupus
  • Bechet’s disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma

These conditions all fall under the care of rheumatologists.

Conditions treated by rheumatologists include:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic pain syndrome like fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Vasculitis
  • Crystal arthritis (such as gout)

This vast array of conditions treated by rheumatologists underscores the breadth and depth of their expertise.

From Symptoms to Diagnosis: The Rheumatological Journey

The path from symptoms to a confirmed diagnosis in rheumatology can be convoluted. For many patients, it begins with persistent joint pain or stiffness that prompts a visit to their primary care physician. But recognising these symptoms is just the first step. What comes next is a series of diagnostic tools and tests, all critical in pinpointing the specific rheumatic disease at play.

This is a vital process, given the diverse nature of rheumatic diseases. Each comes with its unique set of symptoms, progression patterns, and treatment options. It’s like solving a jigsaw puzzle, where each piece must fit perfectly to reveal the bigger picture.

Recognising Symptoms

The initial step towards diagnosis is to identify the symptoms of rheumatic diseases. These can range from sore and stiff joints to additional manifestations like rashes or eye inflammation, depending on the type of arthritis. A significant factor to consider is a family history of rheumatic or autoimmune diseases, which can influence the decision to visit a rheumatologist.

Diagnostic Tools and Tests

Once the symptoms are identified, the next step is to use diagnostic tools and tests. Blood tests are a common tool in rheumatology, used to detect markers of inflammation and the presence of specific autoantibodies, like anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) for rheumatoid arthritis and anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) for systemic lupus erythematosus.

Imaging studies, including MRIs, CT scans, and musculoskeletal ultrasounds, also play a crucial role in diagnosing rheumatic diseases. Rheumatologists also perform thorough physical exams and may employ additional diagnostic tests like biopsies to assess and diagnose rheumatic conditions. Keeping a symptom log that details the nature of joint pain and other related symptoms can also be incredibly helpful during the diagnostic process.

Importance of Early Detection

Detecting rheumatic diseases early is of paramount importance. Delays in a complete diagnosis and treatment plan can lead to disability through irreversible joint destruction. Early intervention, despite the complexity of many autoimmune disorders, is crucial for preventing such devastating outcomes.

Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs), for instance, are most effective when started early in the disease course and can significantly affect disease progression, helping to prevent long-term consequences such as decreased quality of life and reduced work productivity. The goal is to diagnose and treat within the therapeutic window, ideally not exceeding 12 weeks from symptom onset.

Treatment Strategies in Rheumatology

Illustration of various medications used in rheumatology

Upon diagnosis, attention is redirected towards devising treatment strategies. Rheumatology offers a multi-pronged approach to managing rheumatic diseases, encompassing:

  • Medications
  • Therapies
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Regular monitoring

This comprehensive approach to sports medicine ensures that all aspects of a patient’s condition are addressed, from pain relief to slowing disease progression and managing symptoms. The ultimate goal is for an improvement to the patient’s quality of life and prevent further joint damage.

Medications and Therapies

Rheumatologists have a broad spectrum of medications and therapies at their disposal. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and diclofenac are typically the first line of therapy for rheumatic conditions, providing quick relief from pain and swelling. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone and cortisone, are another important class of medications used for rapid alleviation of joint pain and swelling, particularly during sudden disease flare-ups.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), like methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine, are widely used to slow disease progression and prevent joint damage in inflammatory arthritis. Biologic agents, including TNF inhibitors and rituximab, are used as advanced therapies when standard treatments fail to provide sufficient disease control. Beyond medications, physical therapy forms a key part of comprehensive rheumatology care, helping patients maintain or improve their range of motion, functional mobility and overall strength.

Lifestyle Changes and Support

Photo of a person engaging in rheumatology-friendly exercise

In addition to therapies and medications, lifestyle changes play a key part in managing rheumatic diseases. Regular physical activity, for instance, improves physical health and benefits sleep, mood, stress levels, and various other aspects of well-being. In New Zealand, the Green Prescription program encourages arthritic patients to engage in physical activity as part of their management plan.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, Whole grains and lean proteins can also help manage the patient’s symptoms and improve overall health. Giving up smoking and reducing alcohol levels are other lifestyle changes that can have a profound impact on the progression and management of rheumatic diseases. Support from healthcare professionals, family members, and peers can make these lifestyle changes more manageable and sustainable.

Ongoing Care and Monitoring

As chronic conditions, rheumatic diseases, such as giant cell arteritis and psoriatic arthritis, necessitate continuous care and monitoring. Regular appointments with a rheumatologist are essential for patients with inflammatory arthritis to ensure the regular use of DMARDs and achieve improved health outcomes.

During the initial consultation, these clinic appointments are an opportunity for the rheumatologist to:

  • Assess ongoing symptoms such as disease flares and emotional challenges.
  • Tailor treatment interventions accordingly.
  • Conduct regular blood tests or imaging studies to monitor the efficacy of treatment, potential side effects, and the need for adjustments over time.

This continuous monitoring is a crucial part of managing rheumatic diseases and maintaining quality of life.

Specialised Rheumatology Services

Beyond general rheumatology services, specialised ones offer advanced treatments, insurance coverage, and access to urgent care. These services offer a more personalised approach to care and catering to their special interests.

Advanced treatments for ankylosing spondylitis like:

  • biologic medications
  • disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • corticosteroids

To navigate insurance coverage and access urgent care, specialised rheumatology services play a crucial role in the comprehensive management of rheumatic diseases within a rheumatological practice.

Advanced Treatments and Techniques

Among the advanced treatments available in rheumatology is stem cell therapy. This cutting-edge technique involves using the body’s own stem cells to regenerate and repair the patient’s damaged tissue or organ functions. In New Zealand, Dr. Mubark is a pioneer in this field, especially in treating various joint conditions.

Stem cell treatments have shown effectiveness in the following ways:

  • improving painful joints
  • repairing cartilage and ligaments
  • treating spinal conditions
  • repairing tendon tears

Patients undergoing stem cell therapy with Dr Mubark have reported an 80 per cent rate of improved quality of life post-treatment.

Insurance and Referral Information

Navigating health insurance coverage can be a daunting task for those seeking rheumatology services. In New Zealand, Southern Cross Health Insurance plans may cover rheumatology services, but coverage can vary according to the type of plan and may include an excess. Using a Southern Cross affiliated provider for rheumatology services ensures that costs for prostheses and specialised equipment are covered up to the policy’s maximums.

To access rheumatology services covered by insurance, patients may need prior approval, which is based on their specific Southern Cross Health Insurance plan details. Referrals to rheumatologists are managed via prioritised waiting lists, which sometimes cause GPs to delay referral until certain thresholds are met.

Accessing Urgent and Specialized Care

Timely access to urgent and specialised rheumatologic care is essential for managing rheumatic conditions effectively. Unfortunately, New Zealand faces a shortage of specialist rheumatologists, especially in rural areas, leading to long waiting lists and delayed access to care.

Efforts are being made to improve this situation. For example, as of January 2015, New Zealand reduced the expected waiting time for a First Specialist Appointment to four months after referral. Furthermore, advocacy groups such as Arthritis New Zealand are pushing for better access to rheumatologists, particularly in underserved areas particularly in underserved areas.

Living with a Rheumatic Disease: Patient Support and Resources

The journey of living with a rheumatic disease can be arduous. It requires mental resilience and a strong support system. Fortunately, there are numerous resources and supportive communities available to help individuals navigate their treatment and lifestyle changes.

Some resources that can make a significant difference in the lives of those living with rheumatic diseases include:

  • Education materials
  • Empowerment programs
  • Online support groups
  • Guidance in navigating healthcare services

These resources can provide useful information and support for individuals with rheumatic diseases.

Patient Education and Empowerment

Education and empowerment of patients are vital aspects of living with a rheumatic disease. Understanding the nature of their condition and the available treatment options allows patients to make informed decisions about their care. Open communication with their rheumatologist, explaining how their condition affects their daily lives and discussing treatment concerns, facilitates a foundation of mutual trust.

Education materials provided by organisations such as the American College of Rheumatology help deepen the understanding of the impact of rheumatic diseases. Arthritis New Zealand offers a practical handbook, ‘ Arthritis Exercises to Keep You Moving,’ which provides valuable exercise guidance to individuals with arthritis, further empowering them to manage their condition.

Community and Online Support Groups

Illustration of a diverse support group for rheumatic disease patients

Community and online support groups serve as platforms for individuals with rheumatic diseases to exchange experiences and garner support. Arthritis New Zealand operates private Facebook groups that function as online support communities where individuals affected by various types of arthritis can share their experiences.

For patients with less common types of arthritis, there is an open Arthritis Online Support Group on Facebook facilitated by Arthritis New Zealand. These online support communities moderated by health advisors provide a valuable avenue for specialised advice and guidance during standard working hours.

Navigating Healthcare and Specialist Services

For individuals living with rheumatic diseases, navigating healthcare and specialist services can seem overwhelming. Managed care systems like Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), and Point-of-Service (POS) plans can determine the quality and level of care received by patients with chronic rheumatic conditions, with varying accessibility and treatment options.

Primary care physicians often act as gatekeepers in these managed care systems, influencing the management of care for patients with rheumatic diseases. Advocacy groups like Arthritis New Zealand are pushing for better access to rheumatologists, particularly in underserved areas, underlining the importance of such specialist resources in the management of rheumatic diseases.


Living with a rheumatic disease is a journey, one that requires courage, resilience, and the right care team. Rheumatology is a field dedicated to making that journey manageable, offering expert care, advanced treatment options, and a patient-focused approach. From recognising symptoms to making a diagnosis, from choosing the right treatment to making lifestyle changes, rheumatologists are there at every step, guiding patients through their journey.

In the end, it’s about reclaiming life from the clutches of rheumatic diseases. It’s about waking up each morning not with dread of the day ahead but with hope for what’s possible. And with the expertise of rheumatologists and the availability of advanced treatments and supportive resources, that hope is well within reach.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a rheumatologist do?

Rheumatologists diagnose, treat, and manage a wide range of conditions, including inflammatory disorders affecting muscles, bones, and joints, as well as connective tissue diseases. They are qualified by specific additional training in the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of arthritis and various other diseases of the joints, muscles, and bones.

Why would you be referred to rheumatology?

You might be referred to a rheumatologist if your doctor suspects a systemic, autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks your own body, causing inflammation in different organ systems and leading to various symptoms. This referral is also considered if there’s a diagnosis or suspicion of inflammatory arthritis and to develop a management plan for such conditions.

What is the role of rheumatology?

Rheumatologists diagnose, treat, and manage a broad range of conditions, such as inflammatory disorders affecting muscles, joints, connective tissues, and bones.

What conditions come under rheumatology?

Rheumatology covers conditions that affect joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles.

What are the diagnostic tools used in rheumatology?

In rheumatology, diagnostic tools such as blood tests, imaging studies, and physical exams are used to detect markers of inflammation and specific autoantibodies. These tools help in the diagnosis and management of rheumatologic conditions.

Quality Score:

Understanding Rheumatology: Symptoms, Treatments, and Managing Chronic Joint Conditions

regenerative TREATMENT

Imagine regaining control over your life by understanding and managing the chronic joint conditions that have hindered your daily activities. Rheumatic diseases, including those in the field of rheumatology, can be debilitating, but with the right knowledge and treatment, you can take charge of your health, alleviate pain, and improve your overall well-being.

Key Takeaways

  • Rheumatology is the study and management of joint, muscle, and connective tissue diseases.
  • Treatment options for rheumatic diseases include medications, physical therapy/exercise, alternative therapies such as acupuncture or dietary modifications.
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including rest and proper nutrition, can help manage symptoms. Innovative treatments like stem cell therapy may provide revolutionary relief from pain associated with these conditions.

Rheumatology Explained

regenerative TREATMENT

Rheumatology studies disorders affecting the joints, muscles, and connective tissues, which are key in managing arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. While a family history of rheumatoid arthritis may be problematic for many, gaining knowledge about these conditions can help prevent likely complications. Some common rheumatic conditions include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Scleroderma
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia

Treating rheumatic diseases requires a multi-faceted approach, which may include medications, physical therapy, exercise, and alternative therapies. Managing symptoms of these diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, involves maintaining a healthy lifestyle, implementing joint protection measures, and providing emotional support and coping mechanisms.

Role of Rheumatologists

Rheumatologists are specialised physicians trained to diagnose and treat rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. They work closely with patients to:

  • Develop a treatment regime to meet their individual needs and concerns
  • Effectively manage conditions like  rheumatoid arthritis
  • Provide ongoing care

This expertise allows them to effectively manage conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and provide ongoing care.

The relationship between a rheumatologist and a patient is essential, ensuring the best possible care and treatment outcomes. Most individuals with rheumatoid arthritis will require ongoing treatment to manage symptoms and prevent permanent joint damage, making the expertise of a rheumatologist invaluable.

Common Rheumatic Conditions

Rheumatic conditions, including autoimmune disease, can manifest in various forms, with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus being some of the most common. Rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, is a chronic condition characterised by fatigue, pain, swelling, and joint deformity. Diagnosing this condition typically involves blood tests that measure levels of proteins and antibodies and indicators of inflammation.

Flare-up periods of increased disease activity are common in rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis appears with inflammation potentially affecting other organs and even causing the appearance of rheumatoid nodules. When pain is severe or joint deformities are disabling, surgery may be necessary to treat rheumatic diseases.

Identifying Symptoms of Rheumatic Diseases

Identifying Symptoms of Rheumatic Diseases - person experiencing joint pain and stiffness

Symptoms of rheumatic diseases are diverse, typically involving joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling, fatigue, and weakness. Early detection of these symptoms is key for effectively treating and managing people with rheumatoid arthritis. Risk factors for developing rheumatoid arthritis include female gender, family history, hormonal changes, smoking, and previous infections.

Managing symptoms of rheumatic diseases requires a combination of medical treatment and lifestyle modifications. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet.
  • Practice stress management using techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.
  • Seek emotional support from family, friends or support groups.
  • Follow your prescribed medical treatment plan and attend regular check-ups with your healthcare provider.

These strategies can help improve overall health whilst reducing symptoms and making coping with the challenges of living with a chronic condition easier.

Joint Pain and Stiffness

Joint pain along with stiffness are the most common symptoms of rheumatic diseases, often worsening with inactivity or overuse. Inflammation, swelling, and joint pain can cause these symptoms, which can be alleviated through various treatment approaches.

Some ways to manage joint pain and stiffness include:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Gentle stretching exercises
  • Heat or cold therapy
  • Medications prescribed by a healthcare professional
  • Assistive devices, such as braces or splints

Inactivity can exacerbate joint pain and stiffness, while physical activity is beneficial in managing symptoms and improving outcomes. Consulting with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plan is important.

Overuse can lead to increased joint pain and stiffness due to inflammation and joint damage. Striking a balance between rest and exercise is crucial for managing symptoms and maintaining joint health.

Inflammation and Swelling

Inflammation and swelling in joints are typical signs of rheumatic conditions, causing discomfort and limited mobility. These symptoms result from the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking its tissues, leading to joint inflammation, as seen in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritis conditions.

Rheumatologists utilise various methods to measure and identify inflammation and swelling, such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP) level, rheumatoid factor, and physical examination. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help manage these symptoms and prevent further joint damage.

Fatigue and Weakness

Fatigue and weakness can accompany rheumatic diseases, impacting daily activities and overall quality of life. Causes of fatigue in rheumatic diseases may include:

  • Disease activity
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Depression

Weakness associated with rheumatic diseases can be attributed to various factors such as:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Inflammation
  • Pain

Addressing these factors through medical treatment and lifestyle modifications can help improve overall well-being and alleviate fatigue and weakness.

Treatment Options for Rheumatic Diseases

Treatment Options for Rheumatic Diseases - assortment of medication pills

Treating rheumatic diseases involves a combination of medications, physical therapy, and alternative therapies aimed at managing symptoms and improving patients’ well-being. These treatments can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling while improving joint mobility and overall health.

The appropriate treatment approach can differ depending on the specific rheumatic condition and individual patient needs. Sometimes, combining treatments may be necessary to achieve the best results. Regardless of the treatment approach, the goal is to improve quality of life, manage symptoms and prevent permanent joint damage.


Medications for rheumatic diseases can include pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biologics therapies like Humira and Enbrel. These medications can help manage pain, reduce inflammation, and alter the course of the disease, preventing flares and impeding disease progression.

Medications for rheumatic diseases may cause side effects, including:

  • Infections
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Injection site redness
  • Allergic reactions
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach upset

Collaborating with your healthcare team to identify the most effective treatment plan and track potential side effects is critical.

Physical Therapy and Exercise

Physical therapy and regular exercise can often help improve joint function, strength, and flexibility while reducing pain and stiffness. Specific physical therapy exercises for rheumatic diseases include:

  • Low-impact aerobic activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Stretching
  • Strengthening
  • Aerobic conditioning

In addition to improving physical health, exercise and physical therapy can help manage emotional distress associated with rheumatic diseases. Doing regular exercise and being active can significantly improve overall well-being and help manage rheumatic disease symptoms.

Alternative Therapies

Complementary therapies like acupuncture, massage, and dietary adjustments can support conventional treatments in managing rheumatic disease symptoms. Research has shown acupuncture’s effectiveness in pain reduction and inflammation control for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Massage therapy can reduce pain and stiffness, improve joint mobility, and promote relaxation in those with rheumatic diseases. Dietary modifications, such as adopting a vegan or Mediterranean diet and abstaining from processed food and sugar, can also help manage symptoms and improve overall health.

Living with Rheumatic Diseases: Tips for Managing Symptoms

Living with Rheumatic Diseases: Tips for Managing Symptoms - person practicing tai chi

Living with rheumatic diseases involves maintaining a healthy lifestyle, protecting joints, and seeking emotional support to cope with the challenges of chronic conditions. Regular exercise, a healthy balanced diet, and stress management can improve overall health and help manage rheumatic disease symptoms.

Emotional support from friends, family, and support groups can help individuals deal with the challenges of living with rheumatic diseases. Providing tips and coping strategies, addressing mental health and wellbeing, and participating in mindfulness therapy programs can all contribute to a better quality of life for those living with these conditions.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Good stress management, along with a sensible diet and exercise, can improve overall health and help manage rheumatic disease symptoms. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves:

  • Getting adequate sleep and rest
  • Consuming a balanced diet
  • Abstaining from smoking
  • Engaging in regular physical activity
  • Managing systemic inflammation through pharmacotherapeutic treatments and health and wellness approaches.

Along with a balanced diet, engaging in low-impact aerobic exercises, strength-building exercises, and practices such as yoga and tai chi can help improve physical condition and alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis.

Joint Protection Strategies

Joint protection strategies, such as using assistive devices and modifying daily activities, can minimise pain and prevent further joint damage. Some examples of assistive devices include:

  • Splints
  • Adaptive utensils
  • Assistive gadgets
  • Mobility devices
  • Grab bars

These devices can help reduce stress on the small joints and improve overall function.

Modifying daily activities can help protect joints from further damage in rheumatic conditions. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Avoid repetitive movements
  • Utilise assistive devices
  • Maintain good posture
  • Pace activities to conserve energy

By using these strategies, you can better manage your condition and protect your joints.

Regular exercise and lifestyle modifications can further protect joints and support overall health. Some recommendations include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Staying hydrated
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Quitting smoking
  • Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into the diet

Following these practices can promote joint health, achieve a healthy weight, and greatly improve your overall well-being.

Emotional Support and Coping Mechanisms

Managing mental health is essential for people with rheumatic diseases, as the unpredictable nature of these conditions can take an emotional toll. Providing tips and coping strategies, addressing mental health and well-being, and participating in mindfulness therapy programs can help individuals deal with the emotional challenges associated with rheumatic diseases.

Peer support can also be beneficial in addressing the emotional challenges associated with rheumatic diseases. Talking with fellow patients who share similar experiences can provide valuable insight, understanding, and encouragement, helping individuals cope with their condition and improve their overall well-being.

Innovative Rheumatology Treatments: Stem Cell Therapy

Innovative Rheumatology Treatments: Stem Cell Therapy - doctor discussing treatment with patient

Pioneering rheumatology treatments, including stem cell therapy, are under investigation by specialists such as Dr. Hassan Mubark at Auckland Regenerative Clinic. Stem cell therapy deploys adult stem cells, injected directly into the joint area, to lessen inflammation and repair tissue damage. A pain medicine specialist administers this minimally invasive treatment and holds the potential to revolutionise the treatment of rheumatic diseases.

Multiple research studies highlight the prospective advantages of stem cell therapy in managing rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Such findings underscore the promise of stem cell therapy as a new treatment option for some resistant rheumatic diseases as we inject the stem cells in badly involved joints to control the disease process, extending hope to those exploring alternative treatments for their condition.

Dr. Hassan Mubark’s Approach

Dr. Hassan Mubark is a highly esteemed rheumatologist with extensive knowledge in:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Scleroderma
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia 

His dedication to medical research and clinical trials has been instrumental in the progress of regenerative medicine, and his expertise in rheumatology allows him to treat a variety of rheumatic diseases effectively.

Dr. Mubark’s approach to stem cell therapy is distinguished by his dedication to medical research and clinical trials, which has been instrumental in the progress of regenerative medicine. His speciality in rheumatology has allowed him to treat many patients effectively.

Patient Testimonials

Patient testimonials underscore the beneficial effects of Dr. Mubark’s stem cell therapy, demonstrating enhancements in pain relief, mobility, and overall quality of life. One case study showed symptomatic and functional improvement in severe ankle osteoarthritis due to congenital clubfeet. Another successful outcome was seen in the treatment of hand osteoarthritis in a 66-year-old woman.

Testimonials from Dr. Hassan Mubark’s patients indicate that his approach to stem cell therapy has improved their symptoms, reduced pain, and improved their quality of life. These testimonials demonstrate his expertise, care, and successful outcomes, offering hope to those seeking alternative treatments for managing their condition.


In conclusion, understanding rheumatology and the various treatment options available can empower individuals living with rheumatic diseases to take control of their health and improve their quality of life. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, protecting joints, seeking emotional support, and exploring innovative treatments like stem cell therapy, patients can effectively manage their symptoms and live a fulfilling life despite their chronic condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a rheumatologist do?

A rheumatologist is a specialised doctor with training in inflammatory (rheumatic) disease and is qualified to diagnose and treat arthritis of the bones, joints, and muscles, as well as other diseases. They commonly treat conditions such as tendon issues, muscle injuries and rare, inherited disorders.

What are the main diseases in rheumatology?

Rheumatology primarily focuses on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, infectious arthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout, which can cause inflammation, swelling, and joint pain.

Why am I being referred to a rheumatologist?

Your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist if they suspect an autoimmune condition or to confirm the diagnosis of an inflammatory type of arthritis and create a management plan.

What are the symptoms of rheumatology?

Common symptoms of rheumatology include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, fatigue, and loss of appetite. There may also be warmth, redness, and tenderness around the affected joints.

How can physical therapy and exercise help individuals with rheumatic diseases?

Physical therapy and exercise can help individuals with rheumatic diseases by reducing pain and stiffness, improving joint function, and increasing strength and flexibility.

Pioneering Excellence: Dr Hassan Mubark Takes Center Stage at ZAINAB Global Health Conference

Saturday Afternoon Plenary

We are thrilled to share an exciting milestone in the journey of Dr. Hassan Mubark, our esteemed Rheumatologist and Stem Cell Therapy Specialist. Dr Mubark has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the prestigious ZAINAB Global Health Conference, reaffirming his international recognition as a trailblazer in the field of regenerative medicine.

A Beacon of Excellence: International Recognition for Dr Mubark

With over 30 years of unwavering dedication to medical practice, Dr Mubark has become a beacon of excellence in the realm of Rheumatology and Stem Cell Therapy. His commitment to exploring innovative and transformative solutions for musculoskeletal conditions has not only made a significant impact on the lives of his patients but has also garnered international acclaim.

Speaking on a Global Stage: ZAINAB Global Health Conference

The ZAINAB Global Health Conference, organised by Imamia Medics International (IMI), is a testament to Dr Mubark’s influence in the medical community. This international platform brings together leading minds from various disciplines, including dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and more. Dr Mubark’s selection as a keynote speaker reflects not only his personal achievements but also the global significance of his work in the field of stem cell therapy.

Keynote Address: Regenerative Medicine for Musculoskeletal Conditions

Dr Mubark’s session at the conference, titled “Regenerative Medicine for Musculoskeletal Conditions as a Non-Surgical Approach,” promises to be a highlight of the event. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to delve into the groundbreaking advancements in stem cell therapy, a field where Dr Mubark has been a pioneer. His presentation will showcase the potential of non-surgical approaches to treating joint diseases, osteoarthritis, and tendon tears and underscore the transformative impact of regenerative medicine.

Why This Matters: Elevating Stem Cell Therapy to New Heights

Dr Mubark’s participation in the ZAINAB Global Health Conference is not just a personal achievement; it’s a testament to the growing global interest in the potential of stem cell therapy. As he shares insights, research findings, and success stories, we anticipate a ripple effect that will contribute to elevating the status of regenerative medicine on the world stage.

Join Us on This Journey: Advancing Global Health Through Innovation

We invite all our patients, colleagues, and supporters to join us in celebrating this momentous occasion. Dr Mubark’s journey has always been guided by a commitment to advancing healthcare, and this conference is a testament to the impact of his work.

For more information about the ZAINAB Global Health Conference and Dr Mubark’s participation, visit

Costs and Insurance for Stem Cell Therapy in NZ

Stem cell therapy holds immense potential for revolutionising how we treat various medical conditions and diseases. However, as this innovative form of regenerative medicine becomes increasingly popular, it has become crucial to understand the associated costs and insurance coverage. This blog post will delve into the costs of stem cell therapy, factors influencing pricing and potential insurance coverage in New Zealand.

Understanding Stem Cell Therapy Costs

Stem cell therapy harnesses the power of stem cells, the body’s primary cells, including fat-derived stem cells, from which all other specialised cells are derived. The overall cost of stem cell therapy can be influenced by numerous factors, such as:

  • The complexity of harvesting and processing adult stem cells with purification, multiplication and sterilisation of the cells
  • The type and severity of the condition being treated
  • The number of stem cells required
  • The number of treatments required
  • The expertise of the medics performing the therapy
  • The location and facility where the therapy is provided

Bear in mind the cost of stem cell therapy can greatly vary. Some treatments cost $15,000 for one area or $17,000 for two areas, while more complex procedures for multiple areas stem cell implants can surpass $25,000. Factors such as:

  • The reputation and location of the clinic
  • Clinics with a proven record of successful treatments and experienced medical teams may charge higher prices.
  • Clinics located in areas with increased living costs or popular medical tourism destinations may also have higher prices for stem cell therapy.

As for insurance coverage, there has yet to be an explicit answer regarding the coverage for stem cell therapy in New Zealand at this time. Nevertheless, it’s important to consider your insurance provider’s policies and coverage options, as coverage for specific stem cell therapies may differ.

Potential applications of stem cell therapy

Stem cell therapy is a treatment that employs stem cells, including those derived from various sources, to restore or substitute damaged or ill cells in the body. Stem cells are cells that can uniquely grow into any cell in the body and can subsequently be used to treat a variety of medical issues. Some benefits of stem cell therapy include:

  • Restoring or substituting damaged or ill cells in the body
  • Treating a range of medical issues
  • Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into a range of cell types, such as bone, cartilage, ligament, tendon and muscle cells.
  • Managing the symptoms and improving sports life and the quality of life with a single injection, most importantly, trying to avoid joint replacements or complex surgery with shorter recovery.

The use of human embryonic stem cells, a type of human pluripotent stem cells, has been surrounded by controversy due to the ethical implications of deriving them from human embryos and their potential to develop into harmful cells. However, multipotent stem cells are being researched as a viable safe alternative to embryonic stem cells for stem cell therapy. In the field of stem cell research, autologous (body’s own) adipose-derived stem cells, particularly MSCs, are a promising safe option for stem cell therapies, including stem cell transplant, due to their ease of isolation, capacity for expansion in culture and potential to differentiate into multiple cell types. Studies have demonstrated their efficacy in treating many medical conditions and injuries, such as arthritis, sports injuries, and degenerative conditions, using stem cells derived from adipose (fat) tissue.

Worthy of note is that although embryonic stem cells from in vitro fertilisation are exclusive to research purposes and unsuitable for clinical use, multipotent stem cells are under investigation as a viable clinical alternative. Currently, we use multipotent own-body stem cells as a safe and effective option.

Types of Stem Cell Therapy offered at Auckland Regenerative Clinic

Auckland Regenerative Clinic offers Pure Expanded Stem Cell Therapy for osteoarthritis and sports injury and regenerative treatment using one’s own stem cells to treat various conditions. Patients who undergo stem cell therapy at Auckland Regenerative Clinic can expect significant improvements in their condition. For instance, one patient experienced improvements in both the appearance and sensation of their knee, with the swollen glossiness abating and the patient regaining a sense of connection to their leg.

The clinic specialises in non-surgical alternatives to treat wear and tear and sports and non-sports injuries. It has been commended by patients for its knowledgeable and caring specialists, as well as cutting-edge advancements in medicine. For more information about the specific stem cell treatments available at Auckland Regenerative Clinic, we encourage you to contact our clinic directly.

Factors Influencing the Cost

The cost of stem cell therapy can be influenced by various factors, such as the type and severity of the condition being treated, the number of treatments required, and the complexity of the procedure. Additionally, rare diseases or conditions may necessitate specialised stem cell therapies, which can lead to higher costs. The cost of stem cell therapy for different diseases can range from less than $15,000 for one area and $17000 for two areas, but for complex multiple areas therapies, the cost can reach over $25,000. Nonetheless, the cost may fluctuate based on the specific disease and the provider, underlining the need to compare different providers and costs before settling on a treatment.

The reputation and location of the clinic may also influence the cost of stem cell therapy, with clinics boasting a proven record of successful treatments and experienced medical teams potentially charging higher prices. Additionally, clinics in areas with increased living costs or in popular medical tourism destinations may also have higher prices for stem cell therapy.

It is important to consider the costs of stem cell storage facilities in New Zealand as well. The typical cost of storing stem cells at facilities in New Zealand is $500. 

Insurance Coverage for Stem Cell Therapy

Currently, insurance companies and ACC do not generally cover stem cell therapy in New Zealand. However, Vesta Cover and Auckland Regenerative Clinic provide coverage for stem cell therapy.

The procedure for requesting insurance coverage for stem cell therapy in New Zealand varies from one insurance provider to another, and it is important to note that general private medical insurance and ACC do not provide coverage for stem cell treatments at present.

Navigating the Insurance Process

To inquire about coverage for stem cell therapy from your insurance provider, you can contact them and request information regarding the specific form of therapy you are interested in. Additionally, you can request to speak with a case manager from your insurance company and explore the possibility of coverage for stem cell therapy.

Being aware of the current status of insurance coverage for stem cell therapy in New Zealand is critical, as currently, it does not affect the overall cost of stem cell therapy. As many stem cell therapies are not covered by insurance, understanding the costs can aid patients in exploring alternative payment options or seeking financial assistance.

Real-life Cost and Insurance Experiences

NZ Stem Cell Therapy’s website provides information about the cost and insurance coverage for stem cell therapy in New Zealand. Auckland Regenerative’s website features patient stories and testimonials about their experiences with stem cell treatment, including the financial aspects. These resources can give an insight into the costs and insurance experiences of patients who have undergone stem cell therapy.

Our specialists at Auckland Regenerative Clinic can assist patients in understanding the costs and exploring alternative payment options. With a strong focus on non-surgical alternatives, Auckland Regenerative Clinic is committed to significantly improving patients’ conditions and overall quality of life.

Success Rates and Longevity of Stem Cell Treatments in Knee Injuries

Success rates of stem cell therapy in knee treatments are estimated to be around 80% and higher. Following stem cell injections, normal activities can be resumed after two weeks, while running and jumping should be avoided for at least three months. Key points to note about stem cell therapy for knees are:

  • The success rate is estimated to be around 80% and higher.
  • Normal activities can generally be resumed after two weeks.
  • Running and jumping should be avoided for a minimum of three months.
  • There is no evidence in the literature to suggest cancer development or rejection with autologous stem cell use, as the cells are the patient’s own.

The average recovery time is two weeks for knees and four weeks for shoulders and hips. Injection-related pain may be experienced during the procedure and for up to five days due to the inflammatory healing process. It may take up to eight to twelve weeks of extensive lab work to reach the desired high number of viable cells.

For optimal results, anti-inflammatory medications such as Celebrex, Brufen, Voltaren, and others should be discontinued one week before and two weeks following stem cell therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What does stem cell therapy do?

A1. Stem cell therapy is an advanced form of regenerative medicine that promotes the repair response of injured, diseased or dysfunctional tissue using stem cells or their derivatives. It has been used to treat various conditions, from autoimmune diseases to traumatic injuries, with the potential to restore affected body parts to their pre-injury state.

Q2. What is the approximate cost of stem cell therapy?

A2. The approximate cost of stem cell therapy in New Zealand can fluctuate based on the treatment type and the clinic. Generally, stem cell therapy prices start at around $15,000, including GST. Consulting with a medical practitioner or clinic for precise pricing information is highly recommended.

Q3. How much will it cost for stem cell therapy for knees?

A3. The cost of stem cell therapy for knee-related issues can vary depending on many factors, including the severity of the condition and the clinic. Generally, the cost of stem cell therapy for one knee is $15,000 and for both knees is around $17,000.

Q4. How much does it cost to store stem cells in NZ?

A4. The typical cost yearly of storing stem cells at facilities in New Zealand is approximately $500; this is to look after the cells and keep them viable in liquid nitrogen under -195 degrees, freezing them for future use in the same area or alternative other tissues. It is recommended to contact individual facilities for specific pricing information.

In summary, understanding the costs and insurance coverage for stem cell therapy in New Zealand is crucial for making informed decisions regarding your healthcare. With the potential to revolutionise medical treatments, stem cell therapy offers life-changing benefits to those suffering from various medical conditions and diseases. By being well-informed about the costs and insurance coverage associated with this innovative form of regenerative medicine, patients can make better decisions and potentially secure coverage for their treatment.

This blog post has provided information on the costs and insurance coverage for stem cell therapy in New Zealand. As you consider your options, remember that understanding the costs and insurance coverage associated with stem cell therapy is essential for making informed decisions about your healthcare and navigating the insurance process.

If you have been considering these types of stem cell therapy and would like to learn more about the costs and insurance coverage in New Zealand, we encourage you to contact us at Auckland Regenerative Clinic. Our experienced clinic, led by Dr Hassan Mubark, can provide more information on stem cell therapy costs and help you navigate the insurance process.

Revolutionary Stem Cell Approach: Award-Winning Auckland Clinic

Unlocking the Potential of Stem Cells: The Revolutionary Approach of Award-Winning Auckland Regenerative Clinic

In the ever-evolving landscape of medical breakthroughs, stem cells have emerged as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking innovative treatments for a wide array of conditions. At the forefront of this medical revolution in stem cell research stands the Auckland Regenerative Clinic, led by the esteemed Dr Hassan Mubark, an internationally recognised rheumatologist and specialist in stem cell therapy-certified American Diplomat in Regenerative Medicine. This clinic has garnered prestigious awards, highlighting its exceptional contributions to the field of regenerative medicine.

Understanding the Diversity of Stem Cells

Stem cells come in various forms, each with distinct properties and capabilities. Among them are embryonic (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which hold immense promise due to their ability to transform into virtually any cell type in the human body, embryonic stem cell (ESCs). Taken from the inner cell mass of embryos, human embryonic stem cells exhibit unparalleled potential in generating an array of specialised cells, from nerve cells to muscle cells. In contrast, adult multipotent stem cells in tissues like bone marrow and adipose tissue play a crucial role in maintaining and repairing specific cell types, making them invaluable for regenerative medicine.

Dr Hassan Mubark’s Expertise

At the heart of Auckland Regenerative Clinic’s groundbreaking work is Dr Hassan Mubark, a distinguished Rheumatologist and renowned specialist in stem cell therapy. With over three decades of experience, Dr. Mubark’s unwavering dedication to advancing the use of stem cells in medical treatments has earned him global acclaim. His expertise and commitment to research have pushed the boundaries of regenerative medicine, reshaping the future of healthcare in New Zealand and worldwide.

Pioneering Innovative Stem Cell Therapies

The Auckland Regenerative Clinic offers a range of innovative stem cell therapies, each tailored to address specific medical conditions. These therapies include adult multipotent stem cells, adult stem cells, and more. By harnessing the potential of these cutting-edge treatments, the clinic is transforming the healthcare landscape, providing patients with effective alternatives to invasive surgical procedures and joint replacements.

Conditions Treated with Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy holds immense promise in treating a wide range of medical conditions. Patients at Auckland Regenerative Clinic have experienced remarkable success stories from world first innovative tendon regeneration to treating All Blacks and champions, finding hope and relief from conditions such as osteoarthritis and sporting injuries to joints and the surrounding tissues. Explore the transformative impact of stem cell treatments on individuals’ lives as they regain health and vitality through these regenerative therapies.

Advancing Medical Research for a Brighter Future

Dr. Hassan Mubark’s commitment to medical research and clinical trials has been instrumental in advancing the field of regenerative medicine. His dedication to knowledge-sharing and continuous learning has elevated the medical community, fostering innovation and driving progress. Discover how his visionary leadership is shaping the future of healthcare, offering new possibilities for patients worldwide.

Global Recognition for Excellence

Auckland Regenerative Clinic’s remarkable achievements have not gone unnoticed. Their pioneering work in stem cell therapy has earned them international accolades, including the Specialist Clinic of the Year award in New Zealand. This recognition underscores the clinic’s significant impact on stem cell therapy, setting new benchmarks and inspiring hope for countless individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the main function of the stem cell?

A1. The primary function of human stem cells is to repair, regenerate, and replenish damaged or ageing tissues in the body. They can grow and develop into various specialised cell types, promoting healing and maintaining overall health.

Q2. Can you get stem cell therapy in NZ?

A2.Yes, stem cell therapy and related treatments are available in New Zealand. Medical facilities and clinics, such as Auckland Regenerative Clinic, offer advanced stem cell therapies, making these regenerative treatments accessible to individuals within the country.

Q3. Where do you get stem cells from?

A3. Stem cells can be harvested and then taken from various locations in the body. Common sources include bone marrow stem cells used in bone marrow transplants, embryonic stem cells, umbilical cord blood cells to harvest the umbilical and placental stem cell during birth, adipose (fat) tissue, and even certain organs and tissues. They can be obtained through medical procedures and are often harvested from a patient’s body commonly and easily from abdominal fat (adipose) tissues for therapeutic musculoskeletal purposes such as osteoarthritis (wear and tear) and various injuries of the tendons, muscles, bones, cartilage, meniscus, labral and ligaments.

Q4. What does stem cell therapy cost in NZ?

A4. The cost of stem cell therapy in New Zealand can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of treatment and stem cell lines, the medical facility, and individual patient needs. It’s advisable to consult with reputable clinics like Auckland Regenerative Clinic to discuss specific treatment options and associated costs tailored to your requirements.

As we delve into the transformative world of stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine, it becomes evident that the Auckland Regenerative Clinic is at the forefront of these groundbreaking developments. Dr. Hassan Mubark’s visionary approach and the clinic’s commitment to innovation offer new avenues of hope and healing for patients seeking non-invasive alternatives to traditional treatments.

If you or a loved one are seeking non-invasive alternatives for various medical conditions, consider the transformative potential of stem cell therapy. Contact Auckland Regenerative Clinic today to explore how stem cells can offer hope and healing on your healthcare journey. Unlock the healing power of stem cells and embark on a path to a healthier, rejuvenated future.