Hello there,

my GP has told me that I have arthritis. My hand and my knee are in sever pain but I don’t seem to be getting any help or getting any help. My GP just prescribes me steroids and says he has referred me but I never hear anything. I worry the longer it gets left the more damage it may be causing for me in the long run. I am 60 years of age but am really struggling to walk now. Please could someone help me?

kind regards


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739

    Hi @Sully201185, I'm sorry to hear you in so much pain and feel unsupported. It's ok to chase up your doctor if you've not heard about the referral. It really does make a difference, even when the NHS is in a state of near melt-down. Could you get referred for a pain clinic meanwhile? Have you not been prescribed any pain killers on top of your steroids? Have you had any xrays to confirm the diagnosis yet? It's sad that those who can self-advocate (ie nag your doc and present your case) do get seen and treated sooner than those who patiently sit and wait, so don't be afraid to be politely persistent.

  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 721

    Welcome @Sully201185 to the online community

    I see that you are experiencing severe pain in your hand and knee and are concerned that you have been waiting so long for a referral . You are worried about the damage the delay may have in the long run. The pandemic has caused considerable delays in access to specialists and treatments to us all so meanwhile many of us are seeking help and support from other sources. So it is good to chat to you online, I see you have sent your email to the helpline and if you want to talk with someone they are available

    Monday to Friday 9.00- 8.00 0800 5200 520 .

    I attach some links that I hope you find helpful

    I hope you get a chance to browse round the website and read the many conversations between members, everyone is so supportive of each other and are willing to share their experiences.

    We look forward to hearing from you again

    Take Care

    Poppyjane ( Moderator)

    If it would be helpful to talk to someone ring the Helpline 0800 5200 520

    Monday - Friday 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m.

  • Hi Sully201185

    I'm sorry to hear about your pain.

    It's really helpful to know what kind of arthritis you are dealing with. With the commonest type of arthritis - age related changes to joints (osteoarthritis) healthy eating to keep weight down and taking plenty of gentle exercise can make a real difference. But if your diagnosis is different, that would be important to find out.

    I wonder if you might like to talk over how you are managing on a day to day? Conversations with us here at the Helpline can help stimulate ideas and strategies for coping.

    all the best

    Guy - Helpline Team

  • GrandmaT
    GrandmaT Member Posts: 13

    If you feel able to go back to your GP again that would help you I think. They are so busy that, unfortunately, anyone who stays away is assumed to be managing ,so you will be left. There are long delays in getting referral appointments, but help with pain relief should be available in the meantime. It may take a while for the message that you are suffering to really register, and you may have to persist ,but don't be afraid to politely say how pain is affecting you. They cant feel it. You live with it!

    I had to get cross with my GP. I used to feel that I shouldn't bother doctors because they have a lot of other sick patients and I was not an emergency.

    I told my GP that I believed the aim of the NHS was prevention of suffering rather than crisis management. Clearly, I said, I must have misunderstood!

    He had no answer to that, and I got the referral I had waited years for. There was a delay (covid) but it lead to a diagnosis and a treatment plan has started. I hope you can muster the confidence to keep reminding your GP that, whilst you understand about the delays, you need help during the wait.

    Hugs GT