How Is a Diagnosis of Joint Pain Made?


Quick Answer

A doctor may perform a physical inspection on the patient and ask various questions to diagnose joint pain, explains Healthline. After examination, a joint X-ray, a complete blood count, a sedimentation rate test and blood tests may be required to find out the exact nature and cause of the problem.

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Joint X-rays may aid in determining if joint pain is related to arthritis, while a sedimentation rate test may help identify the extent of inflammation, states Healthline. Blood tests may be necessary if the pain results from autoimmune disorders. Early diagnosis may ensure effectual treatment and avoid serious complications such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The patient should consult with his doctor if the pain lasts for more than three days, if he does not know the cause of the problem, or if the joint area is red and sensitive to touch, according to Healthline. Severe joint pain, joint immobility, unexpected swelling and joint deformity require immediate medical care.

The most common cause of joint pain is arthritis, which includes osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, reports Healthline. Injury, gout, fibromyalgia, bursitis and cancer may cause the pain. Treatment includes taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to counter inflammation, swelling and pain, and maintaining a healthy weight to reduce stress on the joints. Stretching and bathing with warm water may also aid in alleviating pain.

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