Medical History and Physical Examination for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Your medical history and current medical
condition are important factors that help your health professional diagnose
rheumatoid arthritis. To assess your medical history,
your health professional may ask:
How long symptoms have been present and whether
there has been any pattern to them.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease affecting the joints. It gets worse over time unless the inflammation is stopped or slowed. Only in very rare cases does rheumatoid arthritis go into remission without treatment. Arthritis medications play an essential role in controlling the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Starting treatment soon after diagnosis is most effective. And the best medical care combines rheumatoid arthritis medications and other approaches.
During the examination, your health professional may also
do a routine evaluation of the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys.
Why It Is Done
The medical history and physical
examination are routine parts of any medical evaluation.
Important findings in the physical examination
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 health
professional will note the location of affected joints, as well as other
symptoms, to determine 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.