Shoulder: The consultation: where should you go, who should you see and why?
- Why go for a consultation?
- Who should you see for a consultation?
- Where should you go for a consultation?
- The importance of medical care
If any of your joints are painful, stiff or swollen, it is important to consult your doctor
- to establish a diagnosis
- to have rapid access to treatment that can relieve your pain and to improve your difficulties in your movements.
Indeed, seeing your doctor will reassure you about the possible causes of your pain or discomfort.
Your doctor will determine if you have osteoarthritis or another disease.
He or she will also guide you in your treatment and the behaviour to adopt to improve your daily life.
If it is osteoarthritis, your doctor will be able to make a diagnosis by evaluating your medical history and conducting a physical examination. Sometimes he or she will request certain tests to help confirm the diagnosis, determine the presence or absence of joint damage, or distinguish between various forms of arthritis. These tests include x-rays, blood tests and analysis of joint fluid.
Although at present, no treatment can cure osteoarthritis completely, therapy can do much to reduce pain and stiffness and facilitate movement. You can thus regain a more active life.
However, it is also essential that you take an active part in the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor.
Your GP, general practitioner
He or she knows you and is best placed to organise your care. Indeed, a general practitioner considers the patient as a whole and the affection from he or she suffers as the result of physiological, human and environmental factors. Hence, he or she has a special relationship with each patient.
In addition, if necessary he or she will refer you to a specialist (Rheumatologist, Radiologist, Physiotherapist, etc.), and/or will prescribe additional tests needed to confirm the diagnosis, drain an effusion and ensure you get the appropriate treatment.
With their training and knowledge, is the specialist for pain and diseases of bones, joints, muscles and tendons. He is the privileged partner, like other specialists, of your GP. Your doctor will refer you to a rheumatologist if necessary.
If you are suffering from one or more joints and have some of the symptoms mentioned in this section, you should go and see your general practitioner.
All of these measures will help make you a real player in your health issues rather than just a passive patient This partnership with your doctor will help you to build a more effective anti-osteoarthritis strategy.
The measures outlined will enable you to better manage and control the evolution of your arthritis. Participating in your medical care is essential in the management of your arthritis.
It is very important that you:
- Do not hesitate to go and see your doctor if an aspect of your self evaluation shows a change for the worse.
- You will go for an X-ray which, as you will remember, is used for monitoring osteoarthritis in a concrete way.. The frequency of radiological monitoring is guided by your symptoms.
- Follow your prescribed treatment to the letter. The latter is not only medication: often physical exercise or physiotherapy will be offered in addition to drug treatment.
- Learn the name and dosage of the drugs prescribed by your doctor. Each individual reacts differently to the same speciality. You will never annoy your doctor if you inform him or her:
- of a delay lasting too long for a limited effectiveness,
- unexpected reactions.
Be patient and calm!
Sedating an osteoarthritic flare-up or cooling a damaged joint takes time.
By following the tips provided as much as possible, you can help to slow down the evolution of your osteoarthritis.