Episode 68: Rheumatological Diseases


Episode Summary:

What are those aches and pains in your fingers, hand, elbow, toes, foot, ankle, and knee? What causes them? What do you do when they seem more severe and interfere with your activities? What are the various types of arthritis? 

Not all Rheumatological disease is arthritis; what else does this area of medical specialties deal with?

We explore the major Rheumatological diseases with a leading Rheumatologist and experienced clinician-researcher.


S. Louis Bridges, Jr., MD, PhD has served as Physician-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at HSS and Weill Cornell Medical College since 2020. He is the immediate Past President of the Rheumatology Research Foundation and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). 

He received a BS degree from the University of Notre Dame and an MD from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans.  After serving as a Medicine Resident and Chief Medical Resident at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, he completed a fellowship in Rheumatology at UAB, where he also obtained a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology/Immunology. From 2008 to 2020, he was Director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

Dr. Bridges has been named to Best Doctors in America, Castle-Connolly Top Doctors, and the 2023 New York Super Doctors list. He has received the UAB Department of Medicine’s Max Cooper Award for Research Excellence and the UAB School of Public Health’s Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award. He is a former Co-Editor of Arthritis and Rheumatology and past Chair of the NIH Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Study Section. 

His research focus is rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility, autoantibodies, and biomarkers of treatment response. He has authored more than 185 manuscripts many book chapters, and served as editor of three books. 

During This Episode, We Discuss:

What are Rheumatological diseases? What differentiates sore joints from Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis? How do we differentiate, diagnose, and treat these diseases?

What are some of the newer therapies?

 When should you see a physician about your joint aches and pains? 

When should you see a Rheumatologist?

What are some of the other major Rheumatological diseases? 

What should we know about Lupus, Psoriatic arthritis, and Gout?


“For Arthritis, joint pain, swelling, and stiffness are the most common symptoms.”

                                                                                                          Dr. Bridges

“In general, swelling of a joint indicates that you should see a physician; it doesn’t mean you should not see a physician if you don’t have swelling…”        

                                                                                                          Dr. Bridges

“Where there are red, swollen, warm joints, that’s a danger signal that you should be seen by someone, a physician sooner than later.

                                                                                                          Dr. Bridges

“ We see those two types ( Rheumatoid and Osteo ) of arthritis together commonly.”

                                                                                                           Dr. Bridges

“ One of the things I’m most passionate about is Precision Medicine….”.

                                                                                                           Dr. Bridges


Recommended Resources:

The Rheumatology Research Foundation

The American College of Rheumatology

The Arthritis Foundation

Center for Disease Control

The National Institutes of Health

Episode Transcript:

Coming soon!

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