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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Exams and Tests

No single lab test can diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. Instead, doctors look at symptoms and physical signs and then rule out other diseases that can cause similar symptoms.

A medical history and physical exam are usually done to help find the cause of joint pain. The pattern and nature of joint symptoms are the most important clues to the diagnosis.

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What can I do about the RA pain I feel right now?

When you feel bad, you naturally want relief from your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms right away. There are ways to ease pain, even if you can’t stop it completely. Some of these methods may surprise you. Have you tried creams made with capsaicin ? Capsaicin is an ingredient in hot peppers. It's in some creams that you can rub on painful joints. In studies, people with RA who used it this way said they had less pain. Capsaicin prompts the body to release a natural chemical...

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Diagnosis is based on a set of classification criteria. The criteria include the results of these tests:

Other tests are used to help monitor and manage rheumatoid arthritis. These include:

Regular checkups

Because rheumatoid arthritis can lead to severe joint destruction and disability over time, regular checkups are important to see if treatment is working or needs to be adjusted.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 06, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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