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Joint Pain: When to See a Doctor

Joint Pain: When to See a Doctor

Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate a minor ache from persistent pain that requires medical attention. If you are experiencing joint pain or other symptoms that are concerning, it is essential to understand when you should see an orthopedic specialist. We're here to help.

What Is Arthritis?

Many people suffering from persistent joint pain are shocked to learn that arthritis isn’t one single condition that can be diagnosed. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is an umbrella term that is used to refer to joint pain—there are more than 100 diseases and related conditions.

While some types of joint pain are mild and can be managed at home with over-the-counter pain medications, others require immediate medical attention. Some forms of arthritis, if left unchecked, can cause permanent joint damage and other orthopedic health issues.

Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For:

The following symptoms may point to the presence of arthritis.

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Stiffness
  • Warm to the touch
  • Redness
  • Difficulty moving affected joint

Some signs and symptoms that may suggest the presence of arthritis may not be directly related to your affected joint(s). It is also common for your doctor to ask you if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Itchy, dry, flaky skin
  • Changes in nails
  • Rashes
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Rashes

Schedule an appointment with your doctor or an orthopedic specialist if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Joint pain that lasts for more than three days
  • Joint swelling that occurs more than three times within a month
  • You experience several episodes of intense joint pain within a month

Before your appointment with your doctor, monitor your symptoms for several week, keeping track of when your symptoms arise and if anything helps to alleviate them. This can help your doctor to diagnose the cause of your joint pain accurately. Depending on the cause of your persistent joint pain, your doctor will work with you to determine the cause of your arthritic symptoms as well as find the right treatment unique to your needs.

Primary and Specialty Care in Henry County

At Henry County Hospital, we’ve been providing compassionate healthcare since 1919. When it comes to primary and specialty care, each patient can expect individualized care that meets their needs. From education to emotional support, we focus on your individual health and wellness.