Tags: Arthritis | arthritis | tests | medical

Medical Tests for Arthritis

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:06 PM

With more than 100 types of arthritis to diagnose, doctors run multiple tests and take an extensive patient history to determine what form of this potentially devastating disease is affecting their patients.

Pain, stiffness, swelling, or other common symptoms of arthritis may occur sporadically or they can be a constant problem. If patients are experiencing any typical arthritis symptoms, they should see a doctor because early diagnosis is key.

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When diagnosing patients, doctors begin by examining affected joints, looking for inflammation and other symptoms. X-rays may show joint damage and how fast the condition is progressing, WebMD said, particularly for osteoarthritis, one of the most common forms of the disease. The doctor can also study any loss of cartilage, bone damage, or bone spurs that cause extra bone growth and tissue by looking at the X-rays.

Doctors might take extra steps to verify the arthritis diagnosis and rule out other issues, such as infections. Joint aspiration consists of using a needle to withdraw synovial fluid that lubricates the joints in the affected area or areas, Arthritis.com reported.

But because of the varying kinds of arthritis, doctors also rely on blood tests to help with the diagnosis, especially in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. This condition, which is an autoimmune disease, causes joint inflammation in the hands, fingers, and wrists, but may affect other parts of the body.

Blood tests can reveal rheumatoid factor antibodies, which 70 to 90 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients have, according to Arthritis.com. Having these antibodies doesn’t necessarily mean you have arthritis, so the other tests help doctors determine your condition as well.

A test to measure the blood's erythrocyte sedimentation rate might detect the inflammatory process in the body, WebMD said. Rheumatoid arthritis patients have high rates.

Along with a variety of blood tests, antibody tests, and synovial fluid analysis, arthritis tests may include bone scans, an electrocardiogram, thyroid function tests, urinalysis, salivary gland tests, and examination of the eyes, Medical News Today said. Arthritis can affect any part of a person's body, even if symptoms just appear in one part.

VIDEO: This Weird Trick With Gin and Raisins May Relieve Arthritis Pain

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With more than 100 types of arthritis to diagnose, doctors run multiple tests and take an extensive patient history to determine what form of this potentially devastating disease is affecting their patients.
arthritis, tests, medical
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2015-06-15
Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:06 PM
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