How to Prepare for Initial Consultation
When preparing for your first visit with the doctor regarding arthritis pain, you should consider what you should bring, what you should expect, and what questions you should ask.
What to Expect From Your Consultation
After the doctor reviews your medical history, he usually will ask:
- How long have you been experiencing pain?
- How intense is the pain?
- How often does it occur?
- What causes the pain to get worse?
- What causes the pain to improve?
The doctor will then review the medicines you take, conduct a physical exam to determine the cause of pain and how the pain is affecting your ability to function, and request necessary lab tests and imaging studies.
Designing a Treatment Plan
Once the doctor has reviewed the results of any tests or procedures, he will discuss the findings with you and put together a treatment plan. Your treatment will likely involve arthritis medications, but may involve exercise, physical therapy, or complementary treatment options as well.
What Is a Rheumatologist?
Rheumatologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of people with arthritis and rheumatic diseases. Often, a patient is referred to a rheumatologist by their primary care doctor after the onset of early arthritis symptoms.