If you think you have arthritis, get the best chance for help by being fully prepared for your first doctor's appointment. Diagnosing arthritis — or any other medical condition — is easier if your doctor has your full medical history, including:

  • Any accidents or injuries that you've sustained

  • Diseases that run in your family

  • Illnesses you've had (especially recently)

  • Other problems, including recent weight loss, depression, sleep disturbances, aches and pain, skin changes, and fatigue

Before your talk to a doctor about arthritis, you should also consider compiling a list of questions you want answered. That list may include some of these:

  • How did you determine that I have this particular kind of arthritis?

  • What's causing my arthritis?

  • What kinds of treatment do you recommend?

  • What outcome can I expect?

  • Will I need surgery? If so, how long can I wait before I have it?

  • What will happen if I do nothing?

  • What will my treatment cost?