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Joint pain Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Joint pain. 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. How long have you had joint pain?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Is the joint pain localized to one joint?

    Why: would suggest septic arthritis, gout, tuberculosis, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, trauma, avascular necrosis and pseudogout.

  3. Is it symmetrical or asymmetrical?
  4. Which joints are involved?
  5. Is the joint pain migratory?

    Why: i.e. joint pain moves from joint to joint? - may suggest rheumatic fever.

  6. What is the age of the person with the joint pain?

    Why: Younger people may have sickle cell disease, hemophilia, trauma, rheumatic fever, Still's disease and gonococcal arthritis. Older people are more likely to have osteoarthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and gout. There is however a significant overlap.

  7. How would you explain the joint pain?

    Why: e.g. throbbing pain may suggest inflammation of the joints and suggests Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Reiter's disease, ankylosing spondylitis; severe episodic pain may suggest gout.

  8. What time of the day is the joint pain worse?

    Why: Inflammatory pain is worse at night and in early morning; mechanical joint pain due to injury or osteoarthritis is worse at the end of the day and after activity; Continuous pain present day and night is suggestive of infection or bone tumor.

  9. Night pain?

    Why: may indicate inflammation, bursitis or bone tumor.

  10. Aggravating and relieving factors?

    Why: inflammatory joint pain causes pain at rest , relieved by activity ; mechanical joint pain due to injury is exacerbated by activity and relieved by rest ;osteoarthritis causes pain with or after activity and relieved with rest.

  11. Have you had a recent viral -type infection?

    Why: may suggest viral arthritis including influenza, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis A and B, infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus, Ross river virus.

  12. History of trauma to involved joint?

    Why: may indicate joint strain, joint sprain, tendonitis or bursitis of the joint or secondary osteoarthritis ( osteoarthritis that follows injury and wear and tear).

  13. Have you had recent mosquito bites?

    Why: may suggest Ross river fever or dengue fever.

  14. Have you had a previous tick bite?

    Why: may suggest Lyme disease (may present months or even years after a tick bite).

  15. Past medical history?

    Why: systemic diseases that may predispose to or present with joint pain include psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, dermatomyositis, bleeding disorders, rheumatic fever, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diabetes mellitus, Wegener's granulomatosis, HIV infection, lung cancer, hemochromatosis, sarcoidosis, hyperparathyroidism, Paget's disease.

  16. Medications?

    Why: e.g. certain medications may precipitate gout including frusemide and thiazide diuretics; some medications may induce a Lupus syndrome including hydralazine, procainamide, phenytoin, chlorpromazine, isoniazid and methyldopa; other medications that may cause joint pain include cotrimazole, amoxicillin, mianserin, carbimazole and nitrofurantoin.

  17. History of intravenous drug abuse?

    Why: may suggest septic arthritis, hepatitis B or C, HIV-associated joint disease, subacute bacterial endocarditis and serum sickness reactions.

  18. Sexual history?

    Why: can determine risk of Reiter's syndrome, gonococcal arthritis, Hepatitis B or HIV viral arthritis.

  19. Family history?

    Why: e.g. osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, gout, pseudogout, hemophilia.

  20. Travel history?

    Why: can provide information about the risk of dengue fever.

  21. Fever?

    Why: may suggest septic arthritis, rheumatic fever, gonococcal arthritis, Reiter's syndrome, lupus erythematosus, Lyme arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, Still's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

  22. Urethral discharge?

    Why: would suggest Reiter's syndrome or gonococcal arthritis.

  23. Low back pain?

    Why: would suggest rheumatoid spondylitis, ochronosis or gout.

  24. Recent diarrhea?

    Why: may suggest enteropathic arthritis (such as due to Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease) or Reiter's syndrome.

  25. Skin rash?

    Why: may suggest psoriatic arthritis, gonococcal arthritis or HIV infection.

  26. Eye pain?

    Why: may suggest Ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's disease.

  27. Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

    Why: e.g. usually symmetrical and can affect many joints. Pain is worse at the end of the day and aggravated by use and cold weather, relieved by rest. Usually associated with pronounced stiffness, especially after activity.

  28. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?

    Why: e.g. usually starts with the gradual onset of pain and stiffness of the small joints of the hands and feet. Joint pain is worse on waking, nocturnal pain with disturbed sleep, pain is relieved with activity. Morning and rest stiffness can last for hours. May be associated with weakness, weight loss, malaise and fatigue.

  29. Symptoms of gout?

    Why: e.g. often excruciating pain in the great toe starting in the early hours of the morning, skin over the joint may be red, shiny, swollen and hot, joint is very tender to touch. Pain may be precipitated by alcohol excess, surgical operation, starvation and certain medications.

  30. Symptoms of Viral arthritis?

    Why: e.g. symmetrical involvement of many joints, mainly of the hands and feet and is usually mild pain. It is caused by many viruses, including those causing influenza, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis A and B, infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus, Ross river virus.

  31. Symptoms of Rheumatic fever?

    Why: e.g. typically occurs in children and young adults, migratory polyarthritis (many joints are involved, joints affected alter with time), involves large joints sequentially, one becoming hot, red, swollen and very painful as the other subsides. It rarely lasts more than five days in any one joint. Associated with acute fever.

  32. Symptoms of hemochromatosis?

    Why: e.g. fatigue, painful joints, impotence, bronze discoloration of skin. Joints involved are characteristically the second or third metacarpophalangeal joints (knuckles of the hand).

  33. Symptoms of Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

    Why: e.g. typically occurs in ages 60-70 presenting with pain and stiffness in shoulder, hip and cervical spine; symmetrical distribution; early morning stiffness. May be systemic signs such as weight loss, loss of appetite and fatigue. Painful restriction of movement of shoulders and hips.

  34. Symptoms of Reiter's syndrome?

    Why: e.g. conjunctivitis, urethritis (painful urination, penile discharge, vaginal discharge).

  35. Symptoms of Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis or gastroenteritis?
  36. Symptoms of Lyme disease?

    Why: e.g. months or years after a tick bite develop joint pain, usually of the large joints such as knee; typical rash (a dough-nut shaped red rash about 6cm in diameter) at the bite site; heart disorders (especially abnormal rhythms of the heart) or disease of the central nervous system (including weakness of the muscles in the limbs, muscular pain or evidence of meningitis).

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Joint pain:

The following list of conditions have 'Joint pain' 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 Joint pain or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y #

Conditions listing medical complications: Joint pain:

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


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