Preparing for your appointment

You'll likely start by seeing your primary care provider, who might refer you to a doctor who specializes in arthritis (rheumatologist) for further evaluation.

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as fasting before having a specific test. Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment
  • Key personal information, including your and your family's medical history
  • All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including doses
  • Questions to ask the doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given. For reactive arthritis, basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • What are other possible causes?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend?
  • How soon do you expect my symptoms to improve with treatment?
  • Is there anything I can do now to help relieve my joint pain?
  • Am I at risk of long-term complications from this condition?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have they been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Have you had a recent infection?