Helping Seniors Live Healthier Lives

3 Steps To Diagnose Your Joint Pain

Joint pain can affect your daily life in many ways. While you may be tempted to take over the counter pain medication and ignore it, chronic joint pain can be a sign of an underlying condition. Here are three steps you should take if you experience pain in one or more of your joints:

1. Take note of your symptoms.

If you notice joint pain, make a note of all your symptoms as well as specific situations which prompt them. Ask yourself if your joints hurt when you're at rest or solely after specific activities. This information can help your doctor diagnose you, if you end up seeking a medical opinion. Your doctor will probably ask you how long you've been suffering from pain, so write down the date when your symptoms started. Rate your pain on a scale from 1-10 each day so you can note its progression.

2. Visit your doctor.

If you do exercise your body isn't accustomed to, you might have stiff, aching joints for a day or two. Generally that's nothing to worry about. However, if your pain persists for longer than a week, you should make an appointment with your doctor. They can perform a visual and manual analysis of your body, which can help them narrow down the cause of your symptoms. If necessary, they may send you to a specialist for further tests.

3. Have imaging tests performed.

If your doctor suspects your joint pain is related to an injury, they may send you for imaging tests. X-rays are commonly performed to find fractures and broken bones. If you were in an accident or hurt yourself while playing sports, your doctor may recommend an x-ray. If your doctor suspects that your joint pain is due to a degenerative condition like arthritis, they may recommend MRI imaging instead.

An MRI machine uses radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your body. This technology can allow your doctor to diagnose joint damage, which can help them pinpoint the cause of your pain and discomfort. A technician will perform your MRI scan, and once the results are ready, you'll have to go back to your doctor's office so they can interpret the images.

You don't have to resign yourself to a life full of joint pain. Modern medicine has the capability to diagnose and treat your pain. If your joints have been hurting you lately, contact a business like Kenai Peninsula Imaging Center, LLC for help.