Step 1

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory arthritis which affects approximately  400,000 people in the UK, it can occur at any age although the common age of onset is between 40 and 60, the disease usually presents initially in the hands and feet. More women than men have RA.

Should you be experiencing symptoms which might relate to inflammatory arthritis, don’t delay, seek help from your GP as soon as possible!  

The following links will provide help and further information prior to a first appointment with a GP.Magnifying Glass

The following topics will be covered in this step:

  • New onset joint pain
  • General health - smoking, diet & exercise
  • Multilingual Information Leaflets
  • General Information on Joint Pain
  • Patient Information on Inflammatory Arthritis 

New onset joint pain

If you are experiencing pain, stiffness and/or swelling in your joints then visit your GP

NRAS video on Early Diagnosis – a short film which discusses the importance of getting an early diagnosis if you suspect an inflammatory arthritis

These are the ‘Danger Signs’ for Rheumatoid Arthritis & Psoriatic Arthritis

The “S” Factor
•   Swelling of the small joints or hands or feet
•   Stiffness in joints for at least 30 minutes in the morning
•   Squeeze test – pain on squeezing across hands or feet

S Factor Poster 

General Health – smoking, diet and exercise

Live Well  is part of the NHS Choices website which looks at healthy living and covers issues relating to eating, smoking, mental health and sexuality     

The Department of Health website contains information on public health, social care and the NHS  

Multilingual Information Leaflets

The NHS website gives help on how to translate health information into different languages. There are also links to some useful sites containing health related information in a number of different languages. Local healthcare professionals may also be able to provide publications in different languages.

Patient Information on Inflammatory Arthritis

Patient information on  Arthritis – NHS Choices – this article discusses the 2 most common types of arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid)  as well as giving information on Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

NRAS video on Early Diagnosis – a short film which discusses the importance of getting an early diagnosis if you suspect an inflammatory arthritis
 
Image of the squeeze testThe Squeeze Test is one of the most reliable tests for RA and PsA and involves squeezing the patients hand or foot across the knuckle joints as shown. If this test is unduly painful then it raises the suspicion of RA & PsA

The following links all give more detailed information about rheumatoid arthritis, the signs and symptoms, the treatments used and what to expect:

NHS Choices information on RA

Patient UK RA Leaflet

NRAS What is RA article