Talking to Your Doctor About Osteoarthritis
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- Do my symptoms suggest that I have osteoarthritis?
- Are there any other joint diseases that this could represent?
- Do you feel that I need any other diagnostic tests?
- What lifestyle changes should I institute?
- What comfort measures (such as heat, cold, brace, etc.) might be helpful?
- Should I consider other treatments, such as corticosteroid injections or hyaluronic acid injections?
- Should I consider any surgical procedures?
- What is likely to happen without treatment?
What medications can I take to reduce pain and improve my ability to function normally?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I am already taking?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?
- Should I lose weight?
- What is a healthy target weight that I should work to maintain?
- Can you recommend a registered dietitian who can help me learn about healthful eating?
- Should I be taking supplements?
- What kinds of exercise should I do to increase my muscle strength?
- Are there exercises or athletic activities that will overly stress my joints, and which I should therefore avoid?
- Could my occupation be contributing to my joint disease and symptoms?
- What is the usual progression of osteoarthritis?
- How can I slow or halt the progression of osteoarthritis?
- Do I have to give up or change any of my activities now or in the future?
Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/.
Conn’s Current Therapy. 54th ed. W.B. Saunders Company; 2002.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/.
Manek NJ, Lane NE. Osteoarthritis: current concepts in diagnosis and management. American Family Physician . 2000;51(6). Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0315/p1795.html
2/15/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: McAlindon T, LaValley M, et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on progression of knee pain and cartilage volume loss in patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2013;309(2):155-62.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 06/01/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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