Seeing Specialists for Your RA Pain

Pain Specialists

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


Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain and Doctor Visits

During visits for rheumatoid arthritis, your healthcare provider may do one or several of 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 it 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 your healthcare provider 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 rheumatoid arthritis.
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Information About Rheumatoid Arthritis

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