Know Before You Go
- Keep a diary of any symptoms you may have regarding pain and swelling symptoms of your joints.
- Note if the pain you experience is symmetrical, that is, if your little finger hurts on your right hand, does the little finger of your left hand also hurt?
- Have a list of any joint injuries you have incurred in the past.
- Make a note if you have had a recent infection.
- Note any changes in your personal well-being: fatigue, weakness, stiffness in the morning.
- Document any history of arthritis in your family.
IF YOU ARE TOLD YOU HAVE ARTHRITIS, DON'T LEAVE YOUR DOCTOR'S OFFICE BEFORE KNOWING THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS:
- What type of arthritis do I have?
- How will this type of arthritis limit my abilities: at work, at home?
- What can I do to stop the progression of this type of arthritis?
- What kind of treatment do you recommend?
- What are the advantages of this treatment?
- What are the side effects/disadvantages?
- How long do you think I will need to be on this medication?
- What should I do if I have flare-ups and am in extreme pain?