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ARTHRITIS

Just been diagnosed?

Don’t worry – we’re here to help you through. This page addresses the worries you might have immediately after diagnosis, looks at how other people usually feel after diagnosis, and offers guidance on what steps to take next.

Talk to someone now

Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm, every weekday. Whatever your situation, we’ll take the time to listen to your concerns. We’ll do our best to help you through, answer your questions, and find you the right support. Call us now:

0300 222 5709

ARTHRITIS

Just been diagnosed?

Don’t worry – we’re here to help you through. This page addresses the worries you might have immediately after diagnosis, looks at how other people usually feel after diagnosis, and offers guidance on what steps to take next.

Need to talk to someone now?

Our helpline is open from 8am – 8pm, every weekday. Whatever your situation, we’ll take the time to listen to your concerns. We’ll do our best to help you through, answer your questions, and find you the right support. Call us now:

0300 222 5709

How you might feel

Shocked – what you might have thought of as an injury or an illness is actually a long-term condition. The symptoms might be better on certain days, but ultimately they won’t go away, and could get worse.

Disappointment or even grief – you’re wondering how you can carry on doing work, or cooking, or your favourite sport if your joints aren’t going to get better. Coping with a change in your lifestyle can be a huge task.

Tearful – you might be putting on a brave face in front of others but feeling tearful at the thought of having to manage the pain you’ve been experiencing.

Anger – you might feel cheated out of your future or frustrated at having to adjust your life to a new reality.

Determined – you’re determined to carry on with your normal life regardless and just “deal with it”. You’ll do what you can do minimise the symptoms and make things easier.

Relief – your pain is finally getting medical attention and you’re getting treatment that can help.

Immediate concerns

How do I stop my joints getting worse?

We’ve got a whole section on looking after your joints here. These pages look at why joints become painful, what you can do to help, and where you can get outside support.

How do I reduce the pain I’m experiencing?

It’s likely that your doctor has already given you  medication or referred you to therapy to help with the pain. You might also find it useful to take a look at our managing pain section which looks at different ways to hold or carry things and exercises for the back, knees, neck, shoulders, elbows, and feet.

What exercise can I do?

Take a look at our sports and activity page for guidance on exercise that can keep you fit while avoiding extra pressure on your joints.

How do I cope at work?

If arthritis is making work more difficult, read our guidance on adapting at work. We also have guidance on whether to tell your employer, and how to cope with giving up work.

Why am I so tired all the time?

Arthritis fatigue is different to normal tiredness and can be difficult to make sense of. Our page on arthritis fatigue explains why arthritis can make you feel tired and offers guidance on how to deal with this.

Feeling overwhelmed?

Let us help make things simpler. Our role is to answer any questions you might have along your journey, and help you access suitable support, whether it’s bereavement support or local groups to get involved with to tackle any feelings of isolation. By having everything in one place, you won’t need to wonder where to look for the answer to your question.

If this is the kind of support you think would help, join us. Sign up for an account here and you’ll be able to:

  • Call us as much as you want, whenever you’ve got a question
  • Access the information on this site as much as you need
  • Let us know where you live and get information on local support services