Call your doctor if you have:
- Sudden, unexplained swelling, warmth, or pain in any joint.
- Joint pain with a fever or rash.
- Pain so bad that you can't use your joint.
- Mild joint symptoms that last more than 6 weeks and don't get better with home treatment.
- Side effects from pain medicine. You can have side effects when you take large doses of pain medicine. Do not take more than the recommended dose of medicine without first talking to your doctor.
If you have mild joint pain and stiffness, first try home treatment, such as using ice and heat. If you don't feel better in 6 weeks, or if you have other symptoms, call your doctor.
Who to see
Arthritis can be managed by:
- A family medicine physician.
- An internist.
- A nurse practitioner.
- A physician assistant.
- A rheumatologist.
Other health professionals may be part of the treatment team, such as:
- A physiatrist.
- A pain management specialist.
- An orthopedic surgeon.
- A physical therapist.
- An occupational therapist.
- A dietitian.
- A social worker.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.