Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition that affects the joints, muscles, ligaments and soft tissue. It is an inflammatory condition that is characterised by pain, swelling and weakness. It can affect any part of the body, but commonly begins in the small joints of the hand and/or feet. RA often affects both sides of the body in the same way, but this is not always the case.
If you notice swelling and pain in your joint(s) which feel warm to touch, you should contact your GP, who may refer you to a Rheumatologist. Early intervention is key to successful treatment, so do not delay in seeking help.
If your GP has referred you to a Consultant Rheumatologist they will conduct thorough investigations to decide if you have rheumatoid arthritis and what treatment you need. They may refer you on to other services, such as:
If you think you need to see a Rheumatologist, then please make an appointment with your GP in order to be referred.