About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disease characterised by inflammation, pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints. There is no cure, but with early diagnosis and good management, symptoms can be controlled and the progression slowed.
The American College of Rheumatology has put together a very useful patient fact sheet. Download it here:
I am a 32-year-old woman who was diagnosed with RA at the age of 12 in 2001. It began with me noticing I couldn’t fully extend my left elbow, and after the progression from GP to orthopaedic surgeon to rheumatologist, I was eventually diagnosed and started on treatment. I have been through a couple of flare-ups over the years: my left elbow and left ankle are chronically-affected joints that do ache from time to time, and my knees both flared up acutely about 5 years ago.
At the moment, I am well-managed (thankfully, both knees are fine now) and am able to work normally; train hard (I do functional fitness at a local gym 5 mornings a week); dance salsa, which I love; and go on regular outdoor adventures.