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Aches Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Aches. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. Where are you experiencing these aches?

    Why: The exact location and distribution of the aches gives some indication of the underlying disease, e.g. polymyalgia rheumatica occurs more in the muscles of the upper leg and upper arm, temporal arteritis occurs on the scalp, arthritis occurs in joints (different types also occur in different joints).

  2. Have you done any extra activity in the past couple of days such as heavy lifting or exercise?

    Why: Muscle strain can present up to 24hours after the initial activity.

  3. Are they worse at any particular times?

    Why: Aches which are worse in the morning in muscles may be as a result of polymyalgia rheumatica, excessive exercise or poor warming up and down associated with exercise. Joint aches which are worse in the morning may be rheumatoid arthritis, whilst those which are worse at the end of the day or immediately after a small period of resting may be osteoarthritis.

  4. Have you ever had angina, a myocardial infarction or heart disease before?

    Why: The pain caused by heart disease, whether it be an infarction or angina, can be felt as an "ache" in either or both shoulders, in the neck and down the arms. Alternatively it might be felt as a "heavy" ache in the chest.

  5. Have you experienced any fatigue or tiredness?

    Why: Fatigue is commonly seen in connective tissue disease or autoimmune disease, which can both cause aches.

  6. How long have you been experiencing these aches?

    Why: If these aches have been experienced for some time then it is more likely that they are as a result of a systemic disease, such as is the case in connective tissue disease or autoimmune disease.

  7. Has anyone in your family ever had a connective tissue disease, arthritis, joint pain, skin condition or bowel disease?

    Why: Some conditions which can result in joint aches are genetic and inheritable, such as ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

  8. Have you had any recent illnesses, including those which are sexually transmitted?

    Why: Non-specific urethritis (a sexually transmittable condition), chlamydia infection and dysentery can all cause a reactive arthritis (Reiter's Syndrome) in those who are genetically susceptible.

  9. Have you ever had any unusual rashes, particularly on your face?

    Why: A rash in the shape of a "butterfly" over the nose and face can be indicative of systemic lupus erythematosus which can cause aches.

  10. Have you ever had pain when you breath in (pleurisy) or any blood problems?

    Why: Pleurisy and some haematological abnormalities can indicate systemic lupus erythematosus.

  11. Have you ever had irritable bowel syndrome?

    Why: This may be associated with fibromyalgia which causes generalized chronic aches and pains.

  12. How old are you?

    Why: Many causes of aches and pains are more common in older people, and age may play a large factor in the diagnosis that your Health professional makes. For example, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, degenerative arthropathy, temporal arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica all occur more frequently with increasing age.

  13. How have you been feeling in yourself lately?

    Why: Depression can be a cause for aches and many other seemingly unrelated physical symptoms.

  14. Have you noticed any muscle weakness, any of your muscles getting smaller, or a red-purple rash around your eyes or hands?

    Why: myositis, polymyositis or dermatomyositis can all cause aches plus upper leg and arm muscle weakness and wasting, sometimes with a characteristic rash.

  15. Have you had any change in weight recently?

    Why: Weight increase may indicate decreased activity as a result of physical limitation by your aches, or it could be as a result of another condition such as Cushing's disease/Cushing's syndrome. Alternatively, weight loss may be because of such conditions as hyperthyroidism or cancer.

  16. Do you consume alcohol, and if so how much?

    Why: alcoholism can be a cause of a myopathy which causes muscle aches.

  17. Are you taking any medications at present?

    Why: It is important for your Health Professional to know what medications you are currently taking, what you are taking them for, and how much/often you are taking them. Some medications such as corticosteroids can cause myopathies, or other side effects resulting in aches. Your Health Professional may also enquire about medications you have taken in the past as some side effects don't exhibit quickly.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Aches:

The following list of conditions have 'Aches' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Aches or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Aches:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Aches' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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