You Will Need
- Location and characteristics of pain
- Blood tests
- Podiatrist (optional)
Determine whether the ache in the knee, elbow, shoulder, or ankle is sharp enough to be worrisome and suggestive of damage. If you can put some weight on the injury or you and your doctor can touch the sore area, you can decide whether an X-Ray might be called for.
Check for swelling
Check for swelling in the joint by touching raised areas. If soft and tender, the swelling could indicate excess fluid from inflammation or a blood seepage.
Relate other factors
Relate other previous or seemingly unrelated medical problems that might contribute to the pain. Old tears, breaks, and wounds can haunt you later.
Tell the physician the length of time the joint pain lasts and whether the pain is constant, or comes and goes. Bone enlargement, as opposed to soft tissue swelling, can indicate arthritis.
Conduct range of motion
Conduct active and passive movement of the joint to investigate how limited the range of motion might be. In active movement, you move your joint as directed, and in passive, the doctor does it for you.
Test for diseases
Test the blood to investigate whether you have infections, like Lyme's disease, or systemic problems like anemia that could be affecting the joint.