When To See The Doctor For Your Arthritis
Everyone has aches and pains in their body. Usually they go away after a short couple of hours or days. Sometimes they don’t. If the pain persists over several weeks you should go to see your doctor for a check up. arthritis may be the cause.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis that require an expert physical examination and testing to determine the correct diagnosis to begin early treatment. The most common of these is osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis. When to see the doctor for your arthritis is a common question among patients.
When to see the doctor for your arthritis: you should also make an appointment if you have a fever, pain, swelling or a recent injury to the joint. Your first step should be your primary care doctor. He is capable of making the initial diagnosis and will send you to a specialist (rheumatologist), if it is necessary for the treatment of the type of arthritis you have.
Be sure the doctor is board certified and not just board eligible. Board eligible means they have the education but have not yet passed the examination. If this is a new doctor to you be sure you get reference or referrals from your friends and relatives. Ask how long the doctor has been in practice, that they are board certified, and if you are concerned you can check their previous medical malpractice lawsuits.
The doctor will use a physical examination and history to determine which tests, if any, are necessary to give you an accurate diagnosis. The doctor has several blood tests, imaging exams and other tests from which to chose that will give him an accurate view of the reasons behind your symptoms.
When you go to the doctor be prepared to answer questions about the type of pain you are experiencing. Where does it hurt, for how long, how often, is it acute, achy, chronic, come and go? Does it hurt with activity – which activities? Does it hurt at rest? More at night? Anyone else in the family have similar pain?
If you have redness, warmth or swelling and your appointment is several days away you may want to photograph it. It may have disappeared by the time your appointment time arrives.
Once you have seen your doctor make sure you are satisfied with the answers. If you want a referral to a rheumatologist ask for one. If they aren’t comfortable sending you then see another doctor. There is no reason you shouldn’t see a specialist if it is warranted and most doctors will send you.