Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.
It is also known as an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. This means that the immune system, which is the body’s natural self-defence system, gets confused and starts to attack your body’s healthy tissues. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue.
The condition usually affects the hands, feet and wrists but other areas can be affected also.
You may experience times where symptoms may be worse, also known as a flare-ups but these can be managed or reduced with treatment, including physiotherapy.
Please see the links below for more information on available support groups and charities relevant to this condition.
Many rheumatological conditions are classed as long- term conditions meaning that either you will live with them for many years or in some cases indefinitely.
While medical science continually works hard through research to find improvements to medical treatment for these conditions, we know that there are many ways in which you can help yourself.
Have a look below at some information leaflets through the links to help with your self-management.
If you have severe pain affecting your sleep and daily activities, if you have had a serious injury or you have symptoms that have not improved with self-management, you should contact your GP practice. If you have a red, hot swollen joint please ring 111