How To Diagnose Arthritis
Want to know how to diagnose arthritis? Arthritis is a disease of the joints, bones, and muscles and can be very painful if not treated in the early stages. This onset of pain should not go unnoticed. With testing and treatment through your healthcare practitioner, the pain associated with arthritis is treatable. Here is how arthritis is diagnosed.
In order to diagnose arthritis, you will need:
Visit the doctor. There is no one test to diagnose arthritis. Based upon the severity of the pain and other conditions present, the doctor will first review your family history to see if there are genetic patterns for arthritis.
- Have a physical exam. You will have a physical exam, where the doctor will examine your joints, reflexes, and muscle strength. He will also question you about the severity of your pain and for how long you have been experiencing it.
Tests may be run. The doctor may choose to test you for the rheumatoid factor, a blood test which detects an antibody commonly seen with cases of arthritis. This test is not 100% conclusive, but it does provide additional data to base your condition on. The doctor may also test your white blood cell count and conduct additional lab work. I
- X-rays may be performed. In the later stages of arthritic development, x-rays are used to test bone destruction. X-rays are rarely used in early stages, so to avoid having more invasive testing see your doctor as soon as your symptoms develop.
- Treatment options. Based upon this series of tests, your doctor will be able to treat you for arthritis and begin minimizing the pain associated with it.