A correct diagnosis is essential before starting treatment. Many patients with bone and joint pain assume they have arthritis. There are numerous causes of joint pain that are not related to arthritis. Your physician will use your history, examination, x-rays and possibly your blood work to determine if you have arthritis and, if so, what type of arthritis you have.
On an x-ray, a healthy joint appears as if there is a space between the bones in the joint. Although you cannot see the cartilage on an x-ray, in the healthy joint, the cartilage is working to cushion and smooth the movement of the joint. On the x-ray of a joint with osteoarthritis, there is bone on bone contact because the cartilage in the joint has worn away.
It is only after this that a treatment plan will be recommended. Always consult with a physician to obtain a correct diagnosis.
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