Studies show that good doctor-patient relationships lead to better medical experiences, according to the Arthritis Foundation
. From personality to expertise, having a doctor that fits well with the patient is pertinent for those living with arthritis and joint pain.
For those with rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. William Buchholz, an oncologist and primary care physician in Mountain View, California, told the foundation these patients will need a rheumatologist because of the longevity of this chronic disease and the need for more than just technical knowledge.
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Rheumatologists are also the most qualified to provide an accurate diagnosis, ProHealth reported
Even more technically, some rheumatologists specialize in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or lupus. Health Monitor recommended
RA rheumatologists for those with arthritis.
If the arthritis is only temporary – what is known as acute arthritis – a person’s primary health physician should be fine. For other long-lasting conditions, such as osteoarthritis, gout, and pseudogout, ProHealth recommended patients seek specialists.
Another more specifically trained doctor is a pain specialist, who helps individuals with unbearable pain by trying various medications and treatments, according to ProHealth.
An orthopedic physician may be another option for people experiencing worsening joint pain, arthritis in the hips or knees, or individuals who are considering a joint replacement, according to the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center.
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For those looking to have a joint replacement, selecting a surgeon who frequently performs this type of procedure is often preferred, according to Virtue
. Physical and occupational therapists may also be helpful for those in need of rehabilitation services.
Beyond the doctor, however, Everyday Health reported that patients
should assess the specialist’s team as well. The other employees in the office are responsible for relaying messages between doctor and patient. Make sure they too are accountable.
When looking for a specialist, ProHealth suggested patients speak with their primary health physician for recommendations. References from friends, family, and coworkers can be helpful too.
About Health also noted that patients
should look into board certification, hospital affiliations, academic history, and schedule.
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