Frequently Asked Questions

Arthritis Center of Riverside
What is a Rheumatologist?
A rheumatologist is an internist or pediatrician qualified by additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases.
What Do Rheumatologists Treat?
Rheumatologists treat arthritis, autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal pain disorders, and osteoporosis. There are more than 100 diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, back pain, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and tendonitis. Some of these can be very serious diseases and difficult to diagnose and treat.
What is Dr. Franco’s Interest in the Field of Rheumatology?
Dr. Franco believes that infections trigger different forms of arthritis. These infections are caused by various micro-organisms including bacteria, mycoplasmas, viruses and parasites. They may trigger rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, scleroderma, dermato/polymyositis, as well as reactive arthritis/post infectious arthritis, and others.
When Should You See a Rheumatologist?
When you have pain in the joints, muscles, or bones that is severe or persists for more than a few days.

Rheumatologists are specially trained to do the work up necessary to diagnose the cause of swelling and pain. It’s important to determine a correct diagnosis early so that appropriate treatment can begin early. Some musculoskeletal disorders respond best to treatment in the early stages of the disease.

Because some rheumatic diseases are complex, and often change over time, Dr. Franco works closely with patients to identify the problem and design an individualized treatment program.

What Happens on a Patient’s First Visit?
A health care provider will interview you and perform a thorough physical examination. The provider will request pertinent laboratory tests, x-rays and/or MRIs if needed. Most of these are performed in-house for your convenience. The results are interpreted in order to arrive at a precise diagnosis. This is essential to formulate the appropriate treatment plan for each individual patient.
What Does The Treatment Consist Of?
The treatment is tailored to each individual patient. It consists of specific antibiotics, probiotics, nutraceuticals/medical foods, and conventional drugs used in a Rheumatology practice.