Osteoarthritis: Early diagnosis of prime importance!
Nobody consults a physician immediately just because there is a pain now and then. As long as it is still possible to move one’s body more or less, we just go on. Sooner or later the pain will disappear – at least we hope. Unfortunately, often we hope in vain. Sometimes it hurts less for some time but at the slightest physical effort it is back again – and hurts even more.
And yet, early diagnosis of osteoarthritis is of prime importance. The sooner the diagnosis is made, the more chances there are to find an appropriate therapy. As osteoarthritis is not curable, a therapy can only help to reduce pain.
The first part of a diagnosis is an in-depth interview (anamnesis) with a physician. It is for instance important for him to know in which situations there is a pain and for how long it lasts. After that there is the physical examination.
The physician will examine the joints, trying to find out for example, if they are still moveable at all. Or if they are swollen and hot or if there is pressure pain or even deformation. And what about reflexes? Is there already a muscular atrophy?
Another part of the anamnesis is a blood check-up. Interpretation of the laboratory values concerning osteoarthritis requires an experienced physician as there is no osteoarthritis indicator.
If the suspicion of osteoarthritis is confirmed, more tests like x-ray, MRT (magnetic resonance tomography), CT (computer tomography) or a joint puncture may be necessary.
It is only then, when the diagnosis of osteoarthritis is secured, that a therapy program can be established.