While you might first discuss your symptoms with your family doctor, he or she may refer you to a rheumatologist — a doctor who specializes in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions — for further evaluation.
What you can do
Write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
- Information about medical problems you've had in the past
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All the medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:
Oct. 29, 2014
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms changed over time?
- Which joints are affected?
- Does any activity make your symptoms better or worse?
- Are your symptoms interfering with daily tasks?
- Rheumatoid arthritis. American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/rheumatoid_arthritis/. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Handout on health: Rheumatoid arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/rheumatoid-arthritis/. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Living with arthritis. American Occupational Therapy Association. https://www.aota.org/en/About-Occupational-Therapy/Patients-Clients/Adults/Arthritis.aspx. Accessed Sept. 4, 2014.
- Rheumatoid arthritis and complementary health approaches. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/RA/getthefacts.htm?lang=en. Accessed Sept. 4, 2014.