What help should I expect from my GP

wotsit4 Member Posts: 6
I have been having problems for a while with various joints and my fingers in particular and it got to the stage a few weeks ago where it was starting to seriously effect my work some days so I decided to go to the doctor and basically all I got was: 'it's probably arthritis take some paracetamol and come back when you get swollen joints' - the knuckles on my left hand were swollen and red at the time - and paracetamol doesn't help much!
I am getting concerned about this if it is going to seriously effect my ability to work and I have been reading things on the internet about arthritis recently and various sites tell you how a GP might send you for tests or refer you to specialists etc. but the one I saw did not seem at all interested and just seemed to want me out as quickly as possible.


  • mash65
    mash65 Bots Posts: 834
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi,until the helpline reply.
    it maybe worth ringing the surgery & asking to see a different gp.
    you have a right to do this,& also ask to be refered to a ryhmatoligist.(sp)
    ibuprofen is often prescribed for swelling/inflammation,but this can be brought without prescription.also can be taken along side paracetamol,leave an hr or so between.
    there are stonger meds,i.e cocodomol 8/500 15/500 30/500.paracetamol/codiene mix.
    but you need a diagnosis for the right meds.
    hope this help you abit,debsx
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wotsit

    I am a member of the forum and the experience you had at your appointment with your gp is unfortunately common. It all depends which doctor you see. I would ask if there is a gp in your surgery who is knowledgeable about arthritis and make an appointment with them. Alternatively you can return to this gp and ask for a blood test to be done and xrays of your hands as this is normal procedure or send you to see a specialist. That would be a start. You are correct, that is the procedure most doctors would take with a patient if they suspected arthritis was the problem.

    I wish you well and please do not think you are making a fuss or let any doctor imply that, because you most certainly are not. Perhaps you would like to tell him about Arthritis Care if you see this gp again.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,576
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wotsit,
    Thank you for your post on the forum. It sounds as if you are having a difficult time, especially when it begins to affect your work.
    If your GP has mentioned it’s probably arthritis, without knowing your age and gender, it could be osteoarthritis of the hand as this is the most common form of hand arthritis.
    If this is the case, the GP will know through a clinical examination and it is recommended that good self management such as keeping the weight down by a good diet and appropriate hand exercises will help with the pain and mobility.
    We have a great deal of written information on our website; we have a booklet called ‘Understanding arthritis’, ‘Exercise and arthritis’ and ‘Healthy eating and arthritis’ that may help:
    Best wishes
  • wotsit4
    wotsit4 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for all the info.
    I tried calling the surgery earlier to ask if any doctor had a particular knowledge of arthritis but after a lot of discussion with someone else the receptionist just said they would call me back.
    Re helpline team message, I am 56 & male.
    Most finger joints are not particularly tender when touched which is all the GP seemed to be interested in but can be very painful with any sideways movement or pressure on the ends & if I try to grip anything tightly.