You may initially bring your signs and symptoms to the attention of your family physician, but he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in sports medicine or rheumatology — the treatment of conditions that affect the joints.
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 the medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
For tendinitis, 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 any tests done?
- 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 any self-care measures I can try?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend for information about my condition?
What to expect from your doctor
During the physical exam, your doctor will check for points of tenderness around the affected area. The precise location of your pain can help determine if it's caused by other problems. Your doctor will also move your affected joint into different positions, to try to replicate your signs and symptoms.
Questions your doctor may ask include:
Nov. 08, 2011
- Where do you feel pain?
- When did your pain begin?
- Did it begin suddenly or occur gradually?
- What kind of work do you do?
- What hobbies or recreational activities do you participate in?
- Have you been instructed in proper technique for your activity?
- Does your pain occur or worsen during certain activities, such as kneeling or climbing stairs?
- Have you recently experienced a fall or any other kind of injury?
- What kind of treatments have you tried at home?
- What effect did those treatments have?
- What, if anything, appears to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
- Questions and answers about bursitis and tendinitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bursitis/default.asp. Accessed Sept. 22, 2011.
- Schmidt MJ, et al. Tendinopathy and bursitis. In: Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..00115-8. Accessed Sept. 22, 2011.
- Colburn KK. Bursitis, tendinitis, myofascial pain, and fibromyalgia. In: Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0986-5..C2009-0-38984-9--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0986-5&about=true&uniqId=236797353-5. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Clark BM. Tendonitis. American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/tendonitis.asp. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Khan K, et al. Overview of overuse (chronic) tendinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Khan K, et al. Overview of the management of overuse (chronic) tendinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 28, 2011.