An evaluation of joint pains begins with a history and physical examination.
Physical findings in someone with joint pains may include:
Tests are necessary to determine the underlying cause for the joint pains.
Tests that may be used to evaluate joint pains include:
- Serum uric acid level
- Lyme disease assay
- HLA B27 assay
- Blood anti-DNAse B
- Blood anti-streptozyme
- Blood ASO titers
- Complete blood count
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate: ESR may be elevated
- Throat culture or rapid strep screen: detects streptococcus bacteria
- Can confirm the diagnosis of gout
- Less commonly used
- MRI of joint
For more information:
Continue to Arthralgias Treatment
- Creamer P. Current perspectives on the clinical presentation of joint pain in human OA. Novartis Found Symp. 2004;260:64-74. 
- Donald IP, Foy C. A longitudinal study of joint pain in older people. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004 Oct;43(10):1256-60. 
- Dreyfuss P, Dreyer SJ, Cole A, Mayo K. Sacroiliac joint pain. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2004 Jul-Aug;12(4):255-65. 
- Palmer T, Toombs JD. Managing joint pain in primary care. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2004 Nov-Dec;17 Suppl:S32-42.