Questions to Ask Your Doctor when you have Joint Pain

Arthritis pain affects more than 86 million people each year. Adults, teenagers and even children can be affected by it. If you think you may have one or more forms of arthritis, here are some questions to ask your doctor during your next appointment.
* At least 100 different illnesses that fall under the name “arthrtitis” so which one do I have? This may seem like a silly question, but the treatment can be radically different depending upon what type of arthritis you have.
* What are the best supplements for the type of arthritis I have? There are different root causes for different types of arthritis.  If your medical doctor can’t give you advice on supplements such as vitamins and herbal remedies, then visit your local naturopathic doctor for guidance.
* How much does my family history or my own medical history affect which drugs I can take? Your doctor should ask for a complete family medical history as well as your own to ensure there is not a problem with the drugs they want to prescribe.
* Is this drug safe to take every day and what potential side effects do they have? In the same vein, you will want to ask if you will have to take the drug long term. Some medications can be taken for a short time and still be effective. Others may require that you take them for longer to get the most benefit from them.
* How long will it take to see an improvement in my arthritis symptoms? Depending upon the type of arthritis you have, you may see an improvement in pain in less than a week. Other medicines may take longer for you to see progress.
* Will I have to worry about this treatment interacting with other medications I am currently taking? Drug interaction can have serious consequences so it is imperative that you tell your doctor every prescription you have, any over-the-counter medications you may take and any herbal remedies you may use.
* If the prescription has potential side effects, is there something I can do to reduce the possibility of developing them? If you have ever read the materials that come with a prescription, you know some of the side effects can be worse than the condition for which you take the medication. Asking the doctor about side effects and reducing your risk for them helps your doctor know that you are informed and knowledgeable about your condition.
Arthritis inflammation and pain can range from mildly irritating to debilitating. Seeking the advice of a licensed professional is important.  Remember you have the option of choosing a traditional doctor or a naturopathic doctor.  It is your best bet to learn if you have arthritis and the treatments that are available. If a doctor diagnoses you with arthritis, do your best to learn all you can and seek a second opinion if you are uncomfortable with the prescribed course of action.
By: Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

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