Discussing Arthritis Pain With Your Doctor

Visiting Your Doctor

When you visit the doctor, he or she will usually do the following:
  • Take your medical history and ask questions, such as:


    • How long have you been experiencing pain?
    • How intense is the pain?
    • How often does the pain occur?
    • What causes it to get worse?
    • What causes it to get better?


  • Review the medications you are using
  • Conduct a physical examination to determine causes of pain and how this pain is affecting your ability to function
  • Take blood and/or urine samples and request necessary laboratory work
  • Ask you to get x rays taken or undergo other imaging procedures, such as a CAT scan (computerized axial tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to see how much joint damage has been done.
Once the doctor has done these things and reviewed the results of any tests or procedures, he or she will discuss the findings with you and design a comprehensive management approach for the pain caused by your arthritis.

Pain Specialists

A number of different specialists may be involved in the care of a patient with arthritis. Often, a team approach is used. The team may include doctors who treat people with arthritis (rheumatologists), surgeons (orthopedists), and physical and occupational therapists. Their goal is to treat all aspects of pain from arthritis and help you learn to manage your pain. The physician; other healthcare professionals; and you, the patient, all play active roles in the management of your pain.

Treating Pain From Arthritis

There is no single arthritis treatment that applies to everyone with pain. Treatment for arthritis also varies based on the type of arthritis a person suffers from, as well as whether treatment is for short-term relief or long-term relief.
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Arthritis Information

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