New here.. RA referral questions..

Kate1701 Member Posts: 14


I’m new here, and just recently been referred to rheumatology after 6 months of declining health, joint swelling, pain and slight deformity- predominantly knees and wrists - immense fatigue and various other symptoms. (I was already diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the patella end of last year) After seeing 3 doctors, the third finally ran my bloods to assess rheumatoid factors which came back positive, a long with other elevated factors which she didn’t specific.

I just wondered if anyone knew roughly how long a first referral takes to see Rheumatologist. Appreciate how much pressure nhs is under, but didn’t know if anyone had any idea on this? Been in chronic pain and living daily on painkillers so really hoping referrals don’t take too long.. I’m 44 & single parent, and trying to hold down my full time job and do all the stuff at home is breaking me…

Thank you


  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 503

    Hello @Kate1701 welcome to the online community,

    You have been referred to a Rheumatologist after a painful journey during the last few months. You have fatigue and also pain in your knees and wrists for which you are taking painkillers. Once you see the Rheumatologist they are likely to prescribe medication to help relieve some of your symptoms and reduce some of the fatigue. I cannot say how long you will have to wait for a referral, there are so many contributory factors e.g. locality, numbers or consultants and nurses in the department, frequency of clinics, number of patients on waiting list etc. Meanwhile you have come to the right place for peer support, we are a friendly group and the range of life experiences, information and tips on how to live with arthritis is quite remarkable. So do take time to browse round and join in with the conversations.

    I attach some links which I hope you will find useful

    I think the Four P's mentioned are a valuable tip to follow because you sound as though you have an extremely busy lifestyle. Give yourself some time to pause and reassess and find some "me" time, even if it is just a few minutes each day .

    One of our members wrote about how useful it was to write a diary of symptoms /concerns whilst waiting for a consultants appointment , alongside that a list of questions that occurred to her during the wait so that when her mind went blank in front of the doctor she had a lot of helpful references to make the best of the experience.

    Do let us know when your appointment comes through and how you got on, we look forward to hearing from you.

    Take care


  • Kate1701
    Kate1701 Member Posts: 14

    Thank you for your message.. and I will be sure to check back here.. and be very glad to get the referral and hopefully on a journey back to feeling better. My life is incredibly busy & stressful, and I think has definitely progressed my symptoms..

    a year ago I was a power lifter and very fit and strong, it’s just amazing how quickly things have changed. Will take a lot of adjustment physical and mentally.

    thank you again

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,293

    Stress is definitely an acknowledged factor in making arthritis pain worse. What can really help knee OA in particular is 'supported' exercise ie cycling or swimming where the joint is supported (by the saddle or water). Or just plain old quad exercises done very regularly. I'd guess that powerlifting is out but have a go at some of the gentler stuff.