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What to Do if You Suspect Arthritis


Updated May 27, 2014

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Pay Attention to Early Symptoms
Arthritis in hands
Colin Anderson/Stockbyte/Getty Images

I have had arthritis and been writing about arthritis for decades. The question I am asked over and over is "I think I have arthritis. What should I do?" I've put together 6 steps that will guide you through what you should do if you suspect arthritis.

When you experience the initial onset of pain in a joint, it's common to think it is due to an acute injury. You try to remember how you hurt yourself. Even without knowingly injuring the joint, you may have unknowingly twisted it or strained it somehow.

It is important to pay attention to early symptoms though. As much as you would like the symptoms to disappear, they may not. If symptoms persist, consult with your doctor. If you have symptoms beyond pain, such as warmth, redness, and swelling around the joint, see your doctor sooner rather than later. Also, pay attention to details because it will help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition. By details, I mean, is your pain constant? What makes your symptoms worse? What makes your symptoms better? Are your symptoms worse at the beginning of the day or at night?

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