With clear communication, together you and your doctor can find the best individualized treatment plan for you. Here are some tips for communicating better.
Be Prepared for Your Appointment
The time spent with your doctor is valuable and often not very long. Write down questions you may have, as well as new or worsening symptoms. Being prepared will allow for a more productive conversation.
Discuss New Treatment Options
There isn’t one way to treat arthritis, and you may need to try multiple medicines before you find an effective treatment. Your doctor can update you on new treatments available.
Keep a Symptom Journal
Track your activities, foods, moods, and symptoms. This can help you and your doctor identify patterns, issues and triggers you may not notice during your daily routine.
Ask About Lifestyle Recommendations
Medication is not the only factor in managing your arthritis. Ask your doctor about lifestyle suggestions that can make your day-to-day life easier. This includes tips for exercise, nutrition, and tools for making tasks less difficult.
Don’t Wait for Your Appointment
Ask your doctor their preferred method of communication outside of your regular appointments (i.e., a phone call, email or patient portal). This allows you to communicate more efficiently with your doctor and will allow for quicker responses.