How to diagnose arthritis

 

 

Make an enquiry or appointment

Please contact Dr Stephanie Barrett’s secretary Kate Picon on:

Tel: 020 7730 8508


Please Bring With You

A referral letter from your GP and any scans/X rays you may have with you at every appointment.

GMC No: 2825957

Bupa: 02825957

AXA PPP: SK00674

 

 

Chelsea Rheumatology Clinic
102 Sydney Street
Chelsea
London
SW3 6NJ

Lister Hospital
Chelsea Bridge Road
London
SW1W 8RH

The London Clinic Consulting Rooms
5 Devonshire Place
London
W1G 6HL

132 Harley Street
132 Harley Street
London
W1G 7JX

Arthritis involves pain and inflammation in a person’s joints, which might worsen over time and lead to chronic difficulties without treatment. For this reason, it’s important you get a comprehensive diagnosis; and a big part of this is understanding how the condition’s symptoms might manifest. The sooner you can get a diagnosis, the sooner you’ll be able to start treatment.

The symptoms of arthritis

The symptoms you experience depend upon the type of arthritis you have, of which there are many. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, where the body’s protective bone cartilage breaks down, leading to stiff and painful joints, alongside the development of bony growths. The second most common arthritis type is rheumatoid arthritis, where the body’s immune system attacks the joints, resulting in significant inflammation and pain.

If your joints are swollen, tender, stiff, or otherwise in pain for an extended period of time, it’s paramount that you get in touch with your GP. You might dismiss this as just a sign of age, or due to physical activity, but it can also be a major symptom of arthritis. These conditions could develop at any age, but they are more common in middle-aged people and older.

The diagnosis process

Once you suspect that you might have arthritis, arrange an appointment with your GP, as they can assess your joints and determine if this condition is the culprit, and which type of arthritis it is. They’ll ask about symptoms you’re experiencing, including the exact position of the pain, and if it gets any worse in different stances. If the pain is exactly on the joint, this is a significant sign.

Be honest and as accurate as possible with your answers, as this can determine the overall success of getting a correct diagnosis. They then examine your joints directly, looking for swelling and restricted movement in your limbs. If the doctor refers you for more tests, this can include blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, and even ultrasounds – all of these can help detect the condition of your joints, and determine the right treatment plan.

After taking in the test results, your GP (or other medical professional) figures out which drugs and treatments are likely to have the most success. They will then provide you with a prescription, possibly for steroids to help reduce swelling or your immune system’s overactivity. Getting a diagnosis is always important, so make sure to act quickly if you notice any significant arthritis symptoms.