Patients are usually diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after seeing a doctor regarding any of the above symptoms. To determine the underlying cause, a doctor will ask about pain and symptoms, review medical history, perform a physical evaluation and order various diagnostic tests such as x-rays or bloodwork. In some cases, patients may be referred to a specialist for additional testing to confirm an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.
As a progressive condition, it is important to treat rheumatoid arthritis as early as possible in an attempt to slow the progression of the disease and successfully manage inflammation. This can often be accomplished through conservative treatments.