Most patients will be seen by their GP, rheumatologist or pain specialist who will carry out a series of test to diagnose which arthritis is present.
This will include:
- Medical history – finding out about symptoms, family history, other health problems in the past.
- Physical examination – look for redness and swelling in and around the joint and check out the range of movement of your joints. Depending on the type of arthritis also look for rashes, check your eyes and throat and measure your temperature.
- Scans and other tests – again, depending on the type of arthritis test may include: blood tests to check for levels of inflammation in blood or specific genetic markers; x-rays; ultrasound; CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- Referral to a specialist – if appropriate your doctor will refer you to a specialist, often a rheumatologist, for diagnosis and specialised management of your condition
Management / Interventions
A person suffering with arthritis can have different symptoms from person to person and these symptoms can vary from day to day. Treatment and management options vary with the type of arthritis, its severity and the parts of the body affected.
Unfortunately there is no cure for arthritis, however there are options to manage your pain with interventions such as medical treatment and medication, physiotherapy, exercise and self-management techniques.
Osteopaths and physiotherapist are health professionals that can help with the management of arthritis. They are trained in Physical therapy and licensed in rehabilitation techniques. They help patients restore function and prevent disability for people affected by arthritis. They can also design exercise programs to help reduce pain and improve the functioning of the joint and MSK areas affected by arthritis.