Your medical history and current medical condition are important factors that help your health professional diagnose and/or evaluate rheumatoid arthritis. To assess your medical history, your health professional may ask:
During the physical examination, your health professional may look at, feel, and move each joint and evaluate it for:
During the examination, your health professional may also do a routine evaluation of the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys.
The medical history and physical examination are routine parts of any medical evaluation.
Important findings in the physical examination include the:
Rheumatoid arthritis often causes painful, swollen, "hot" joints and often affects the same joints on both sides of the body. Your health professional will note the location of affected joints, as well as other symptoms, to determine whether your condition meets the criteria for a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
Physical findings are an important part of the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and are also used to evaluate the success of treatment.
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