Arthritis is a condition that affects millions of Americans every year. In order to determine if arthritis is the cause of joint pain, many things need to be considered.
When trying to determine if you have a form of arthritis, such as osteoporosis or gout, your doctor will first need to ask a number of questions. Your doctor will need to know where you are experiencing pain and when the pain occurs, how long this pain has been occurring for, and if you have noticed any redness or swelling. Finally, the doctor will ask if you have a family history of arthritis. If your doctor suspects arthritis, he may also request a movement test as well as x-rays.
There are certain factors that predispose a person to arthritis that will be taken into consideration during the office visit. Four non-modifiable risk factors will be looked at. Non-modifiable means that this is something the patient has no control over. These risk factors are age, gender, genetics, and ethnicity. Arthritis is in many ways an age related disease. Those over the age of 40 have an increased risk of developing arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.
Gender is another risk factor and will be taken into consideration when your doctor is determining whether or not you have arthritis. Women tend to be affected by this disease more than men and are more susceptible to a variety of forms of this disease. Ethnicity also appears to play a role. Finally, your family history will be of importance as certain genes have been linked to an increased risk of arthritis.
Only after looking at all of the above factors, in conjunction with a complete review of your symptoms, will the doctor be able to definitively say you are suffering from arthritis.
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