Struggling to get Arthritis help/diagnosis


I've been struggling with joint pain for at least 8 years, started in my fingers (now look bent and deformed) then right shoulder, knees (now very weak) but in the last 2 years my right hip prevents me from walking very far. All these joints burn when resting …I've talked to my gp for help and she says it's just the stages of getting older, and to make another appointment to talk about the menopause. I'm 53 unfortunately went through menopause years ago. I've booked another gp appointment for next week as I'm sick of this pain. Can anyone please help with questions /referrals. I'm sure if I had xrays or something they would realise my pain.

Thank you for reading.


  • anneka87
    anneka87 Member Posts: 6

    My experience with GPs on both a personal and professional level is that you need to be persistent. Just telling you it's due to aging with no investigation or advice is pretty poor. I'd definitely go back.

    Can you book in with the physiotherapist attached to the GP surgery? They may be a little more helpful as musculoskeletal stuff is in their wheelhouse.

    Best wishes


  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 449


    I wonder if a checklist would help of things that it seems arthritis folks normally have to do all the time

    • Rheumatologist diagnosis
    • Doctors diagnosis
    • Tests
    • Relevant treatment
    • Physio plan
    • Support group
    • Adaptions
    • How you are feeling today

    Those are the things I can think of but maybe I missed something? Out of interest I just tried an arthritis checklist and it said, nothing specific. Which is actually seems quite typical of arthritis that folks have trouble obtaining a specific diagnosis that helps with treatment.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Nurina
    Nurina Member Posts: 340

    Book an appointment with another GP and ask for a referral to Rheumatology. GPs aren't qualified to diagnose some issues. My GP was a horrible person and he used to say horrible things. I ended crying in every visit. I think he enjoyed his position over powerless people. I booked with another one and everything changed.

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 609


    There are, unfortunately, there are too many Drs who don't count Arthritis as an issue for their patients.

    I had a horrid conversation with the head GP at our practice in May 2023. I couldn't get hold of my own GP on a Friday morning and after having no sleep, chronic pain with my hip for a week, I got hold of this woman who politely told me "Mrs B you have arthritis, you should be used to the pain and there is nothing I can do" All I can say is it is a good job it was a phone appointment. Luckily I left a message for my Phsyio who was horrified and spoke to me as soon as she got my message. I managed to speak to my own GP not long after and now I only deal with him. He really is the nicest of GP's, compassionate and does what he says!

    Speak to another GP at your surgery and if you don't have any luck with them, put in a formal complaint to them. If they don't respond to that you can then go to your local health authority and complain.

  • veryaraf
    veryaraf Member Posts: 41

    we all connect with you and other peoples reactions. If they could see spots etc they might understand more. When I am sitting in my chair I look as if there is nothing wrong but I have no cartilage and my joints crunch and grind when I move. They ‘talk’ to me! People who haven’t experienced the pain will never understand what we suffer. Everyone with joint problems has a different range of pain in different parts of the body. I have not had particularly good experiences with physios either. They ask a lot of questions and hand out a page with pictures on and send you on your way. The forum will help greatly with info and encouragement. Take care. x

  • walkinonsunshin
    walkinonsunshin Member Posts: 1
    edited 15. May 2024, 19:04

    57 yr old female here- Surprised to learn from UCLA Rheumatologist that there's not a damn thing I can do for my aggressive osteoarthritis in hands. Still looking for medical treatment help. Wondering if anyone has heard if applying topical OTC .3% Adapalene-retinol acid &/or .3% Cerave Retinol Serum is helpful in slowing down & reducing corrosive effects of aggressive osteoarthritis, since nothing else seems medically available to slow down the disease. Would extra Vitamin A help too? Let me know your thoughts & what you've heard. Much thanks!

  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 1,020

    Hi @walkinonsunshin and welcome to the online community,

    It sounds like you are in USA at the moment, so you might find some of the information and experiences on here not as relevant since we’re UK based. That being said, arthritis is the same the world over so do have a look through the forum and join in whenever you want to.

    There’s an article below on research that’s currently being undertaken on retinoic acid, but it’s not yet available in the UK.

    Best wishes,

    Anna ( Moderator)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 449
    edited 15. May 2024, 21:39



    Have you tried putting your hands into a bowl of warm water for a while. I was a bit sceptical about the water idea, but since the Rheumatologist suggested it during diagnosis I did try it, and I noticed some relief from the stiffness.

    Some folks also try cold but afraid to say I am a wimp I really don't fancy a cold bowl of water.