DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT, & STEPS TO TAKE

Is there a test for arthritis?

To diagnosis you with arthritis or another rheumatic disease, your doctor may:

  • Ask you about your medical history.
  • Give you a physical exam.
  • Take samples for a laboratory test.
  • Take x-rays.

How is arthritis treated?

There are many treatments that can help relieve pain and help you live with arthritis. You should talk to your doctor about the best treatments for you, which can include:

  • Medications to relieve pain, slow the condition, and prevent further damage.
  • Surgery to repair joint damage or relieve pain.

Who treats arthritis?

Doctors who diagnose and treat arthritis and other rheumatic diseases include:

  • A general practitioner, such as your family doctor.
  • A rheumatologist, who treats arthritis and other diseases of the bones, joints, and muscles.

Living with arthritis

There are many things you can do to help you live with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, including:

  • Take your medications when and how you’re supposed to.
  • Exercise to reduce joint pain and stiffness. It also helps with losing weight, which reduces stress on the joints. You should speak to your doctor about a safe, well-rounded exercise program.
  • Use heat and cold therapies to reduce joint pain and swelling.
  • Try relaxation therapy to help reduce pain by learning ways to relax your muscles.
  • Use splints and braces to support weakened joints or allow them to rest. You should see your doctor to make sure your splint or brace fits well.
  • Use assistive devices, such as a cane or shoe insert, to ease pain when walking. Other devices can help you open a jar, close zippers, or hold pencils.