Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine whether or not you have arthritis. As with any health-related condition, always consult a trusted health care professional.

One professional who you might consider is your local pharmacist. Pharmacists can help as you work with your physician to determine the best joint plan for you. A pharmacist is familiar with what prescriptions you take on a regular basis and how they might interact with any other medications and supplements you might be considering as part of your plan.

  1. Call your local pharmacy and ask to arrange a consultation visit with your pharmacist. If your pharmacy does not provide consultations by appointment, ask for the best time of day to drop in for a consultation.
  2. Put everything you take each day, whether a prescription, supplement, vitamin, or non-prescription medicine such as aspirin, in a bag and take with you to your consultation. This will help the pharmacist help you.
  3. Make a list of questions to ask.
    • If you are not clear about how one of your medications works or why you are taking it, this is a great time to ask your pharmacist.
    • Give some thought to your questions so you take advantage of this time. As an example, for arthritis you might ask the pharmacist if there is a product he recommends? For a prescription you might want to ask if you need to take it with food or what time of day is best.
    • Don't be afraid to ask questions. Pharmacists are professionals trained to answer your questions and want to help you.
    • List your questions on a tablet or note pad.
  4. Arrive a few minutes before your consultation time and let the staff know you are there for your consultation.
  5. Take the tablet or note pad with your questions and make notes with the answers. Later, if you need to, you can refer back to your notes for answers.
  6. Thank the pharmacist for the information and time and ask to be kept informed on any new information.

Always remember, if your joints hurt for more than 7 days, you should see a doctor. Knowing what type of arthritis or other injury or disease you may have is an important step in treating your symptoms.