Covers questions doctor will ask, including how long you've had symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and whether you've had recent or past injury. Covers physical symptoms doctor will look for, like swelling, tenderness, range of motion, and affected joints.
Medical History and Physical Exam for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Your medical history and current medical
condition help your doctor diagnose
rheumatoid arthritis. To assess your medical history,
your doctor may ask:
How long symptoms have been present and whether
there has been any pattern to them.
During the exam, your doctor may also
do a routine evaluation of the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys.
Why It Is Done
The medical history and physical
exam are routine parts of any medical evaluation.
Important findings in the physical exam
Pattern of symptoms in the affected
Presence of swelling or tenderness in the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis often causes painful, swollen, "hot"
joints and often affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Your doctor will note the location of affected joints, as well as other
symptoms, to find out whether your condition meets the
criteria for a diagnosis of rheumatoid
What To Think About
Physical findings are an important
part of the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and are also used to evaluate the
success of treatment.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.