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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 Are NSAIDs for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    NSAIDs -- or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -- are commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. They help manage the chronic pain, inflammation, and swelling tied to RA. They do not slow down the disease. Most people with RA also take other types of medications, such as methotrexate or biologics, to help prevent further joint damage.

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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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