Get the basics on arthritis diagnosis and treatment options from the experts at WebMD. Someone who's been searching for answers for a while may see to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating arthritis and rheumatic. Early diagnosis and treatment can save more than joints. Some types of arthritis can cause internal damage to the heart and other organs from the start. Prompt.
Diagnosed Arthritis How is
Childhood arthritis causes permanent damage to the affected joint or joints. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are important to prevent or minimize permanent damage. There is no cure for childhood arthritis, but some children with childhood arthritis achieve permanent remission, which means the disease is no longer active. You can reduce your risk of getting some types of arthritis by changing risk factors you can control.
Risk factors you can control include overweight and obesity, joint injuries, and smoking. Talk to your doctor if you have arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness, or swelling in or around one or more of your joints. It is possible to have more than one form of arthritis at the same time. There are many forms of arthritis, and diagnosing the specific type you have can help your doctor determine the best treatment. The earlier you understand your arthritis, the earlier you can start managing your disease, reducing pain, and making healthy lifestyle changes.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, arthritis treatment can include medications, nondrug therapies such as physical therapy or patient education, and sometimes surgery. Self-management is what you do day-to-day to manage your condition and stay healthy. Practice proven self-management strategies to reduce arthritis pain so you can pursue the activities that are important to you.
Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for your joints to get used to your new activity level, but sticking with your activity program will result in long-term pain relief. Learn more about physical activity for people with arthritis.
For people who are overweight or obese, losing weight reduces pressure on joints, particularly weight bearing joints like the hips and knees. In fact, losing as little as 10 to 12 pounds can reduce pain and improve function for people with arthritis.
At any age, low-impact, arthritis-friendly physical activity and diet changes can help you lose weight. Facebook Twitter Email Syndicate.
Children can also get arthritis. Learn more about arthritis and how you can manage it. What should I do if I think I have arthritis?
How is arthritis diagnosed? Treating and Managing Arthritis. How is arthritis treated? The focus of arthritis treatment is to: Improve or maintain physical function and quality of life.
In inflammatory types of arthritis, it is also important to control inflammation. Managing your arthritis symptoms is very important as well. Learn what you can do to manage your arthritis. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease. You can take steps to care for your body if you have rheumatoid arthritis.
These self-care measures, when used along with your rheumatoid arthritis medications, can help you manage your signs and symptoms:. Some common complementary and alternative treatments that have shown promise for rheumatoid arthritis include:. The pain and disability associated with rheumatoid arthritis can affect a person's work and family life. Depression and anxiety are common, as are feelings of helplessness and low self-esteem.
The degree to which rheumatoid arthritis affects your daily activities depends in part on how well you cope with the disease. Talk to your doctor or nurse about strategies for coping. With time you'll learn what strategies work best for you. In the meantime, try to:. 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.
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Diagnosis Rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages because the early signs and symptoms mimic those of many other diseases. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. American College of Rheumatology. Goldman L, et al. Ferri's Clinical Advisor American Occupational Therapy Association. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Matteson EL, et al. Overview of the systemic and nonarticular manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis. Gabriel SE, et al.
Epidemiology of, risk factors for, and possible causes of rheumatoid arthritis. Schur PH, et al. General principles of management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Weisman MH, et al. Total joint replacement for severe rheumatoid arthritis. Matteson EL expert opinion.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Related Tips for coping with rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis: Can it affect the lungs? Rheumatoid arthritis and exercise Is depression a factor in rheumatoid arthritis? Tips for protecting your joints Palindromic rheumatism: Precursor to rheumatoid arthritis? Does pregnancy affect symptoms?
Getting an Arthritis Diagnosis
Diagnosis. Rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages because the early signs and symptoms mimic those of many other. There are more than different types of arthritis, each with dive into the general symptoms of arthritis, what causes it, how it's diagnosed. It is very important to get the right diagnosis. There are over different types of arthritis. Symptoms and treatment will vary depending on which type you have.