Arthritis is a bit too difficult to diagnose owing to its extensive varying types. There are over 100 types of arthritis, and each has its sort of dynamics.
A commonality of these 100+ streaks is the excruciating pain affecting joints.
Some prominent forerunning categories of arthritis are metabolic arthritis, degenerative arthritis aka Osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, infectious arthritis, gout, and Rheumatoid arthritis.
The diagnosis of the types is a bit too difficult. But, a correct path would do the trick.
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For an accurate diagnosis, the following five steps need to be assured by the healthcare provider:
Step-By-Step Guide: How Can Arthritis Be Diagnosed?
- Review symptoms.
- Probe medical history.
- Examine joints.
- Consult laboratory tests.
- Diagnose through imaging
For a clear-cut diagnosis, let’s examine each of the five steps at length.
First, you should review symptoms like swelling of joints and patterns and recurring pain bouts. A deep check of symptoms is also necessary for the context of swelling, stiffness, pain, and difficulty with movement.
The location of pain should also be checked. In the same vein, the duration is also vital. When do you experience pain, and how long does it last?
Furthermore, the nature of pain is also essential, whether it is stabbing, dull, throbbing, or constant. For better pain projection, you should also define it on a scale of 1-10. One denoting no pain and 10 being the worst feeling. Two more pertinent questions are; what lessens the pain? And what makes it more excruciating?
Probing Medical History
For probing medical history, you must direct your underlying conditions with the possible arthritis problem. Have a check for injuries or illnesses that could cause pain.
Secondly, a family history of arthritis or another rheumatic disease must also be probed. Thirdly, patients should also check medications. There are some side and domino effects of prescriptions too.
Another quick probing method is the physical examination of joints. You will have to examine whether the joints are abnormally swollen or stiffer than usual. The presence of wrinkles around the knees also identifies the correct scheme of arthritis.
In addition to medical history and physical examination, laboratory tests bolster the arthritis problem. Some of the standard laboratory tests are as follows:
Antinuclear Antibody Test
The antinuclear antibody test measures the levels of antibodies in the blood. The varying levels of antibodies might accurately diagnose specific types of arthritis.
Arthrocentesis aka Joint Aspiration
Arthrocentesis is the detailed examination of joint fluid. This way, a thin needle is pierced into the affected joint. Then, synovial fluid is sucked up with the syringe. That fluid is then examined for further tests such as crystal analysis, cell counts, culture, etc.
One breakthrough came for the Arthritis patients in the form of a complement test. If you are wondering what this test is all about we will guide you about this. Basically in this test doctors examine the adjacent group of proteins. It is a little effortless for doctors to get a hold of arthritis through protein examination which is a helpful prognosis.
Not all joint pains are related to arthritis; some portend an underlying kidney problem. Here, Creatinine is another helpful test that monitors kidney damage. Not only do you correctly diagnose the joint pain, but you also stem the rot at the kidneys.
Protein C-Reactive Test
This specific type of protein enhances manifold when the body experiences some inflammation from arthritis. The test identifies the proper type of arthritis with an essential way forward.
Sed Rate or ESR
Out of 100, around 10 arthritis types alter the standard formation of red blood cells. ESR lab test measures the count of red blood cells and analyzes their fall to the bottom of the testing tube. This analysis confirms the presence of arthritis.
Hematocrit or Packed Cell Volume
As a low number of red blood cells is common in people facing arthritis, getting the correct profiling of RBCs through PCV or Hematocrit testing is pertinent.
The adversary does not come alone. Arthritis often arises along with kidney disease. For spot-on analysis, urine must be tested at a laboratory. In the same vein, a common type of arthritis, gout, is always associated with a higher concentration of uric acid.
Imaging techniques are cutting-edge and bring in sure-fire results, even better than the laboratory tests. Some joint imaging for arthritis are as follows:
X-rays are quick snaps for any considerable bone damage and joint changes. The position of arthritis can easily be gauged through X-ray imaging.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to diagnose the quality of bones, tendons, ligaments, and synovial tissues. The results of the ultrasound are more precise than X-rays.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Images obtained by MRI are more precise than X-rays. They show the nooks and crannies of damaged muscles, joints, cartilage, and ligaments.
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Diagnosis is the first and foremost part of the arthritis problem. You cannot steer away from this excruciating problem sans correct diagnosis. Moreover, half of the solution lies within the arthritis problem itself. Yes! A correct diagnosis.
Diagnose correctly, and chuck down the pain at the earliest.