Questions to ask GP


I have not had a formal diagnosis (ie no blood tests etc) but my GP has previously said he thinks I have OA in my hands and fingers. It has been getting really painful recently and also gripping things is much worse.

What questions should I be asking him? It is really getting me down. I know there are people on here with decades of agony, so dont want to seem like a cry baby, but together with all the other things going wrong in my life just now (OH has leukemia and financially we are a disaster despite me working) I am beginning to struggle.


  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Hi @Masueuk

    Welcome to the Online Community, it's great that you have chosen to join us.

    Osteoarthritis of you fingers is worsening and causing pain and lack of grip. That's not a minor issue and we understand all the other things that go along with this - the fear it will get worse - the worry of finance and so on.

    I can help with some of that, here is our booklet about hand and wrist pain which is very comprehensive and here is some information on managing pain

    Finally have you considered claiming benefits?

    Please let us know how you get on, you are a strong person - offering you a little extra strength to live with arthritis

    Take care


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    An X Ray of your hands will reveal whether you have OA in them. There are things like fingerless fingerless compression gloves and braces that can help a bit. I have it in my hands and wrists which is only one of my problems and have trouble gripping things and can no longer hold a phone. Things that can help are cutlery with thick rubber grips, putting keys on a chain which is secured to your belt and so on. Good luck.

  • Hi Masueuk

    Sorry to hear that you are dealing with suspected OA in your fingers. Thanks Mike1 for your input.

    If the GP is fairly certain of the diagnosis, and you feel happy with that, then it may be worth asking for support to help you self-manage. The age related changes in joints are widespread in the population and research proves that lifestyle can support the body to manage these changes better.

    Getting into a daily routine involving hand exercises is really helpful and to find out more about that you might ask for a referral to physiotherapy. If your problems are already causing a lot of difficulty with daily tasks, it may be worth asking whether a referral to a hand clinic is an option.

    Bodyweight and healthy eating can be factors in OA, so it's worth making sure your diet is a healthy balanced one - and losing any overweight. (Research shows that even small joints can be affected by overweight.) If you are unsure whether you are overweight, you can ask the GP weigh you (there's a clear chart comparing height and weight on the NHS website).

    Osteoarthritis (OA) | Causes, symptoms, treatments (

    If you'd like to talk things over, do ring us here on our freephone 0800 5200 520 9am - 8pm Mon-Fri.

    All the best

    Guy - Helpline Team

  • Masueuk
    Masueuk Member Posts: 3

    Thanks Everyone. We actually have a hand clinic in Fife, where I live (unusual as most specialist services are not here) I have been intermittent fasting the last few months and lost around 30 pounds but still a lot more to go.

    I have started getting some things for the kitchen from the OXO range which seem to help a bit.

    I did wonder about supports/splints for at night as I seem to catch my little finger (it is so painful I could happily chop it off) on the bedding because it no longer bends. Has anyone found night splints helpful ?

  • Masueuk
    Masueuk Member Posts: 3

    Saw my GP. He has given my more ibuprofen gel to use 3 times daily rather than.. when I get home and its really painful, so will see how that helps.

    Also being referred to Hand Clinic as the pinky is crossing under or over the next finger.

    I saw my sister yesterday and told her about seeing the GP. She is 18 months older. She held up her right hand and said, these two are the worst (the index and little fingers, same as mine) but the middle one is starting to go (like mine) and the little finger is getting a mind of its own and goes out on its own and gets caught in the bed sheets (exactly like mine has been doing) She thought it was because she used to knit a lot (I never have) and is right handed (I'm left handed) Personally I viewed this as interesting, that two people with the same or very similar genetics, with very different lives, can end up with such similar symptoms at the same time...... not scientific sampling but interesting nevertheless.  

    Does anyone else have family similarities like ours ?

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
    edited 12. Dec 2020, 14:07

    Does anyone else have family similarities like ours ?

    Both my baby sister and I have OA but our middle sister does not, mind you OA is not known in our family at all apart from the 2 of us.