Recent RA sufferer.


im not on here to bleat about my experiences but hope that I can help others by posting here.

I’m a retired police officer, 65 years old and pretty active until recently. I get my physical fitness and mental well being from cycling. However, for the last couple of months I have had severe shoulder pain which radiated up from my hands over about 4 weeks. My GP diagnosed some form of arthritis and when he told me how long I would wait for an x ray on the NHS I despaired. Luckily I can afford to go private initially. My shoulder pain is so acute I do no sleep well, it is very restricting and I have to have assistance to get dressed. I would not wish this on my worse enemy. I have had one consultation, blood tests and ultra sound/x rays. The results of which I will get at my next appointment. It’s not cheap but my health is beyond cost to me. Question: 1. Has anyone had similar symptoms and if so can they be managed to the extent of returning to vigorous excercise? Question 2: does it take constant medications?

All the Best, CS


  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 212

    Hi. I am 64. And I have RA diagnosed a few months ago. Like you I was very active before being diagnosed.

    i was lucky enough to see a rheumatologist fairly quickly under the N H S, which I am greatful.

    I have tried some meds that didn’t agree with me, but am now on different medication. Still waiting for it to kick in.

    have had two lots of steroids, which took the pain away. Unfortunately they were only short courses.

    I have pain in my shoulders arms, hips, knees and right thumb. It is hard going, but I am trying to stay positive.

    I am still able to walk ( which I love) but I do need to rest often. I have tried to adapt to not being as able, which hasn’t always been easy. I’ll be the first to admit, and I get frustrated sometimes.

    i do hope you are able to get back to cycling as much as before, but you have to listen to your own body.

    i have had pace myself, and find different ways of doing certain things. Good luck at your follow up.

  • Crizmiff
    Crizmiff Member Posts: 9

    Thank you for the last post. I too am experiencing hip, leg and knee pain first thing in the morning, although some days I can walk it off, others I can’t. The meds I have been on now for about a month don’t seem to make much difference. I’m hoping there is something that will take this pain away and allow me a better range of movement. I will post after my next appointment and hopefully I shall have good news for me and anyone else who is suffering similar symptoms to myself.

  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 212

    I have been on my new meds about 6 weeks. They can take up to 12 weeks to kick in.

    I am trying to manage with paracetamol in between through the day, but I am struggling at the moment. It can be exhausting when the pain is all consuming, and it does get me down. I think the damp weather hasn’t helped. I always thought I had a high pain threshold. I am not going to let it beat me. I the meds don’t work I’ll try another. If the hospital offer you some steroids, take them.

    They are a huge help.

  • Cath100
    Cath100 Moderator Posts: 40

    Welcome to the online community @Crizmiff

    Thank you for joining us, feel free to share your experiences that is exactly what we are here for and like you say it definitely can and has helped people in the past and am sure will continue to do so in the future.

    The NHS waiting times can be long and this does make accessing treatments challenging. Hopefully after your next consultation you will be able to get some specific answers to your questions from your GP/rheumatologist as you say.

    Generally speaking, exercise is good for all types of arthritis, and you can find out more here about getting started and what is recommended

    Perhaps it may also be helpful for you to also get a referral to a physiotherapist. This link gives info specifically on shoulder pain exercises here:

    Because everyone experiences arthritis to a different degree and also because there are many different types of arthritis there is no one size fits all in terms of treatments or ways to manage symptoms. Some medications treat the symptoms, but if you have an inflammatory type of arthritis like rheumatoid, they will treat both the symptoms and the underlying progression, some of them can take a while to work. It could also be helpful if you are struggling with mobility to take a look at our section called 'your home' as it may be that some aids or adaptations can help you. You can also find out more here generally about shoulder pain

    Best wishes



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