Warning Signs

Pain from arthritis can be ongoing or can come and go. It may occur when you’re moving or after you have been still for some time. You may feel pain in one spot or in many parts of your body.

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Occasional Swelling and/or tenderness
  • Difficulty moving a joint
  • Redness around a joint


When you see your doctor for the first time about your joint pain, expect at least three things to happen before you get an
arthritis diagnosis:

  • First, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and medical history.
  • Next, your doctor will conduct a physical examination.
  • Finally, your doctor may order X-rays and laboratory tests.

What to tell your doctor

You can help your doctor by writing down the answers to the following points before your appointment. Bring your answers when you see the doctor.

  • Where it hurts
  • When it hurts
  • When it first began to hurt
  • How long it has hurt
  • If you have swelling
  • What daily tasks are hard to do now
  • If you have ever hurt the joint in an accident or overused it on the job or in a hobby or sport
  • If anyone in your family has had similar problems

What your doctor should tell you

When you go to your doctor to get a diagnosis there are a few things you should learn.

  • If you have arthritis or a related condition
  • What type of arthritis it is
  • What to expect
  • What you can do about it
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