Often times patients make the mistake of thinking that specialty conditions require a specialized doctor. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, if you or a loved one suspects they may have arthritis, your family doctor can help. Read on to learn how your primary care physician can help with assessment, diagnosis and treatment with our chronic care management services.
When to Talk with Your Doctor
If you do not already have a diagnosis of arthritis but are experiencing symptoms that match the condition, your family doctor can help you with this. As with many conditions, the earlier you can diagnose arthritis, the more effective the treatments can be. Some examples of early symptoms to take note of include:
- Difficulty doing normal daily activities
- Stiffness or pain in or around joints
- Joint tenderness or redness/warmth around joints
- Joint pain lasting longer than three consecutive days
- More than two [3+ day long] episodes in a month
There are several types of arthritis, the most common being Osteoarthritis (OA). However, your symptoms could indicate a different type, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus and gout. Our Lewisville pain management services know how scary a new diagnosis can be and we will do everything we can to make the process stress-free and helpful.
Ways Your Doctor Can Help
It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that, whenever a new symptom arises in your body, the first step is to visit your primary care physician. The title for this person may be internal medicine specialist or family physician – either will work. We’re simply recommending that the best way to begin is to first go to the person who knows you and your health history the best.
Your primary care doctor can then sort through your symptoms with you and offer some or all the following:
- Perform a thorough assessment of your current concerns
- Order specific tests/labs be done
- Prescribe medication(s) that will not conflict with other treatments you may already be receiving
- Diagnose your arthritis (as well as specify which type)
- Create a custom treatment plan, including preventative measures to keep you safe
- Perform follow-up visits
- Refer to a specialist as needed
Your Family Medical currently has Lewisville doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Bedford, Benbrook and Boyd). Our team can help you or your loved one walk through the process of assessing for, diagnosing, and treating your condition with compassion and excellence.
How to Prepare for the Appointment
If you are new to Your Family Medical, be sure to fill out the new patient paperwork prior to the day of your appointment and plan on arriving to our clinic about 10 minutes early.
Bring with you any form of documentation you have done for your symptoms as well as an up-to-date list of current medications. We recommend patients document their joint pain levels, frequency and location in a pain journal. Be sure to bring that pain journal along with you to share with your doctor. Visit our Chronic Care Management page today to learn more about what we offer for chronic conditions like arthritis.
It’s very important to remember that not all resources are qualified or helpful. We like to remind our patients that Google is not a doctor and doesn’t have access to your health history. That means whatever information you get from an internet-based search may or may not be helpful.
That being said, there are several resources that are reliable and can offer very helpful insight once your doctor has given you a diagnosis. Some recommended resources that are specific to arthritis include the following:
- The Arthritis Foundation: National program offering education, community, research and resources
- S. National Library of Medicine’s Clinical Trials: Database for searching nation-wide available clinical trials for arthritis (or any condition)
- Arthritis National Research Foundation: Learn about research and current treatments
- Juvenile Arthritis Association: Hub of information and resources for patients with arthritis who are under 18 years ol
Having a trusted care team is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle. At Your Family Medical, we have a team of physicians who offer a full suite of services to help you on your path to a healthy, pain-free lifestyle. Whether it’s arthritis, geriatric medicine or a child’s sport’s physical – we can help you! Call today to schedule your first appointment.