Covers questions doctor will ask, including how long you've had symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and whether you've had recent or past injury. Covers physical symptoms doctor will look for, like swelling, tenderness, range of motion, and affected joints.
Medical History and Physical Exam for Rheumatoid Arthritis
During the exam, your doctor may also do a routine evaluation of the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys.
Why It Is Done
The medical history and physical exam are routine parts of any medical evaluation.
Important findings in the physical exam include the:
Pattern of symptoms in the affected joints.
Presence of swelling or tenderness in the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis often causes painful, swollen, "hot" joints and often affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Your doctor will note the location of affected joints, as well as other symptoms, to find out whether your condition meets the criteria for a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
What To Think About
Physical findings are an important part of the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and are also used to evaluate the success of treatment.
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.