While you may initially bring your concerns to your family physician, he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in joint disorders (rheumatologist).
What you can do
You may want to write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
- Information about medical problems you've had
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
For bursitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- Will I need to have tests?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- I have other medical problems. How best can I manage them together?
- Will I need to limit my activities?
- Are there self-care measures I can try?
- Do you have brochures or other printed material I can take? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor
During the physical exam, your doctor will press on various spots around your affected joint to try to determine whether a specific bursa is causing your pain.
Your doctor may also ask you questions, such as:
Aug. 20, 2014
- When did your pain begin?
- Did it come on suddenly or gradually?
- What kind of work do you do?
- What are your hobbies or recreational activities?
- Does your pain occur or worsen during certain activities, such as kneeling or climbing stairs?
- Have you recently fallen or had another injury?
- What treatments have you tried?
- What effect did those treatments have?
- Anderson RJ, et al. Bursitis: An overview of clinical manifestations, diagnosis and management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 19, 2014.
- Tendonitis and bursitis. American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Tendinitis_and_Bursitis/. Accessed July 19, 2014.
- Hip bursitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00409. Accessed July 19, 2014.
- Bursitis and tendonitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bursitis/default.asp. Accessed July 19, 2014.