Diagnosing osteoarthritis

You should visit your healthcare professional if you think you have osteoarthritis. There is no definitive test to diagnose the condition, so your healthcare professional will ask about your symptoms and examine your joints and muscles.

Your healthcare professional may suspect osteoarthritis if you:

  • are over 45 years of age
  • have joint pain, which gets worse the more you use your joints
  • have no stiffness in your joints in the morning, or stiffness that lasts no longer than half an hour.

If your symptoms are slightly different from those listed above, your healthcare professional may think you have another form of arthritis. For example, if you have joint stiffness in the morning that lasts longer than an hour, you may have a more inflammatory form of arthritis.

Further tests

Further tests, such as X-rays or blood tests, may be used to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, such as rheumatoid arthritis or a fractured bone.

However, they are not always required to confirm a diagnosis of osteoarthritis.

More information

Arthritis Care provide more information about diagnosing osteoarthritis.

Last updated: 28 May 2014

Continue to next section: Treating osteoarthritis