Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term auto- immune condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Inflammation is a normal tissue healing process that usually starts with an injury, then the body responds by sending chemicals and different blood cells to the area to heal and clean up.

Rheumatoid arthritis differs to osteoarthritis in that the inflammatory process does not run its full course and it gets stuck in a cycle of inflammation called a flare.

Physiotherapy is recommended by NICE and aims to maintain joint function, reduce pain and improve long term health outcomes. If referred, you will work with therapists who will complete a holistic assessment and together you will develop a tailored plan to meet your needs.

Please see the links below for more information on available support groups and charities relevant to this condition.

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society NRAS | Rheumatoid arthritis charity provide information and support services for those affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA), their families, friends, carers and health professionals.

They have created a new interactive learning module for people living with and caring for those with rheumatoid arthritis: SMILE-RA | NRAS

What Can I Do To Help Myself?

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.

Coping with Flare Ups

Coping with Flare Ups - PDF

Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

Getting A Good Night’s Sleep - PDF

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation Techniques - PDF

Mindfulness video

Tips For Stress Management

Tips For Stress Management - PDF

Pacing And Setting Baselines

Pacing And Setting Baselines - PDF

Goal Setting and Action Planning

Goal Setting and Action Planning - PDF

Managing A Set-Back

Managing A Set-Back - PDF

When to seek advice

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