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Diagnostic Tools To Discover if You Have Arthritis

Around 23% of adult Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and even more people may be undiagnosed. Women are more likely to have arthritis than men, and your risk of arthritis goes up with age.

There are several types of arthritis, so treatment varies depending on the cause of your pain. Our medical team at Integrated Medical Solutions of Knoxville can help relieve your arthritis pain with correct diagnosis and treatment for your specific type of arthritis.

Diagnosing arthritis

We may use a variety of methods to diagnose your arthritis. In some cases, talking to you, reviewing your medical history, and doing a physical exam may be enough to determine that you have arthritis and what type you have. 

In other cases, we may need additional diagnostic tools or scans.

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of arthritis include:

We may be able to determine you have arthritis without additional diagnostic tools if you have several of these symptoms and a history of physical damage that could lead to arthritis. This history might include an old injury or work or sports that require repetitive motion.

X-ray testing

X-rays can help us diagnose osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. An X-ray shows if there’s an uneven loss of cartilage in your joint or if bone spurs have formed that cause scraping and pain when you flex your joint. 

X-rays only have a low level of radiation, so you can have them annually to track progression of your arthritis.

CT scanning

A CT scan uses special X-ray equipment controlled by computers to create a three-dimensional picture of the deeper parts of your body by taking multiple images. 

CT is especially helpful in diagnosing arthritis of the spine or pelvis, where conventional X-rays often don't produce a clear enough picture from all angles. 

MRI

An MRI utilizes a combination of radio waves and a magnetic field to give a clear cross-section view of details in your soft tissues. 

An MRI allows us to see fluid pockets, tears in the cartilage and muscle around your joint, and deep tissue inflammation. It helps us correctly diagnose osteoarthritis if you're experiencing pain but traditional X-rays didn’t show the condition.

Ultrasound

We may also rely on an imaging system that leverages soundwaves to check soft tissue for inflammation. Ultrasound images are very helpful in diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, which is an inflammatory condition that attacks your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause significant ongoing pain. 

Treating arthritis

We talk with you about our findings and discuss your type of arthritis, then recommend the appropriate treatment. We may suggest exercise therapy in order to keep your joints flexible and encourage mobility. At-home exercises are easy to do, and you can add them into your daily routine.

Dietary changes or supplements support bone and joint health and reduce inflammatory responses. These can help strengthen muscles and ligaments and make you stronger and more agile. 

Experience safe, effective, natural pain relief from arthritis by contacting our Knoxville, Tennessee, office today by phone or via our convenient online booking form.

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