Nancy Hardin, age 71, of Dyersburg, Tenn., was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) 11 years ago. A few months after her diagnosis, she quit her teaching job at a local high school because she could barely walk. Then she started taking the biologic drug Remicade and became nearly symptom-free. Nevertheless, she decided that going back to the classroom would wear her out. She did, though, become a volunteer translator for local Spanish-speaking immigrants and a member of the Tennessee Council...
During the exam, your doctor may also
do a routine evaluation of the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys.
Why It Is Done
The medical history and physical
exam are routine parts of any medical evaluation.
Important findings in the physical exam
Pattern of symptoms in the affected
Presence of swelling or tenderness in the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis often causes painful, swollen, "hot"
joints and often affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Your doctor will note the location of affected joints, as well as other
symptoms, to find out whether your condition meets the
criteria for a diagnosis of rheumatoid
What To Think About
Physical findings are an important
part of the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and are also used to evaluate the
success of treatment.