What is the process of diagnosis

This will be a long one and maybe confusing so please bear with me ...I have always known I have arthritis.. wasn't sure what type. I still don't.

Mother and other relatives had feet broken and reset. We have the Heberden's nodes of fingers. These are the physical visual problems.

So the problems I have had for years I will work my way up.

Feet.. Night time burning throbbing toes.

Tops of feet very painful if I have walked alot or after resting. Or walking upstairs. I was told by my mother normal x-rays did not show her arthritis? No pain underneath. Normal X-ray a few years ago showed a little x-ray.

Legs ... Crackle and pop in both knees. However right leg always swollen. For a few weeks I was unable to bend it. Sat for long periods of time caused me unable to stand and walk. It feels like a tight band behind knee. Pain down shin and calf sometimes. Knee was x-ray recently and told I have moderate arthritis. I hobble when I walk now.

Left Leg.... Crackle and Pop though no pain apart from in bed when I can not turn over or sit up in bed due to severe pain in my left buttock area. Or hip. I'm quite confused 😅

Stomach always swollen suffer with IBS.

Left Shoulder severe pain. Certain movements I can't do because it's so painful. I am struggling to cut food or lift. I am waiting for a x-ray. When the DR touched my bones in that area it was painful. I am really itchy around my neck and chest.

Back middle of back say shoulder blades I have had burning for three years extra sensitive skin like sunburn. More recently it's spread and now spine hurts. Dr is sending me for physio for this.

Hands. Nodes. Splinter pain. Wrists can be sore and itch. My watch now irritating wrists leaving red sore patches

I'm on HRT which I thought had helped. In the past I had flare ups but they would go. This time there is no end.

Should I not be referred to a rheumatologist?

Should I not be investigated to determine the right treatment?


When I was pregnant ten years ago I could not walk for the last few months and unable walking up the stairs with my baby for two years because my brain could'nt lift my right legs up. It was very odd but ignored. I wonder if my body was traumatised with my pregnancy being an older unfit woman and now it's coming out.

Any suggestions advice would be wonderful I'm so lost at what I should be doing ❤️


  • Hi@MichelleS71

    Thanks for posting on the Online community, I’m sorry to hear that you have so much going on and where to start seems a bit confusing. I was also sorry to hear about your pregnancy which sounded pretty scary and difficult to manage.

    Clearly a part of the picture involves Osteoarthritis (OA)

    I'm not sure whether the other issues form a wider arthritis to be looked into, but with OA it's always helpful to begin with the fundamentals - exercise and physiotherapy and healthy eating to keep weight under good control. If pain is a barrier to exercise, speak to a healthcare professional. Whether the wider symptoms form a picture relevant to a specialist perhaps needs to be talked over with someone who is medically qualified. Some GPs are better at these broad conversations - perhaps you might find out if any of the GPs have a special interest in Rheumatology. For more responses you might like to repost on the Living with Arthritis Forum, this is a great place for shared experiences and further suggestions and support from other people with arthritis.

    I hope that helps

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor

  • Thank you Lynda,

    I know I have oestroarthritis and was wondering if I have other forms linked. Like PSA. Just wondering how I pursue finding out. I feel like from the Dr it's very much yes you have arthritis and there is nothing else I can do for you.

  • Hi@MichelleS71

    If you would like an NHS referral to Rheumatology you may need evidence of something which does not match Osteoarthritis (OA).

    If you have concerns over skin issues, you may need to see a dermatologist.

    Unfortunately stomach issues are common among people with arthritis and may not narrow things down.

    Sometimes a physiotherapist can help gather evidence for you which might might help build a case for this kind of referral. You can sometimes self-refer to physio via the Musculoskeletal department. You might be able to get further investigations done through a referral to a Pain Management Clinic - and that's a referral which would be very normal if you live with a lot of pain that is not under control.

    If bloods don't show inflammation but there is a suspicion of inflammation connected with the immune system, an ultrasound or MRI scan can help to identify that.

    I am sorry but the other option is to pay to see a rheumatologist privately.

    Do consider using the Living with arthritis forum for other ideas from people with arthritis.

    I hope that is helpful

    Guy - Helpline Team

  • Thank you that's helpful ☺️