10 October 2018
We are all living longer but it’s a fact of life that, as yet, we can’t be like Doctor Who and ‘regenerate’ – our bodies suffer wear and tear and we are more likely to have multiple conditions, including arthritis and back pain as we age. In the UK there are many millions of people whose quality of life and independence is affected by these conditions. By 2050 it is predicted that one in five people will be affected by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
However, the length of time it takes for those in pain to see a Consultant, as an NHS patient, has increased dramatically in recent years - a quarter of patients with early inflammatory arthritis waited more than three months to be referred by their GP to a rheumatology team. Here at Spire Dunedin we have been working to create a multi-disciplinary approach providing a complete pathway, raising awareness of the issues and helping patients to live pain free.
We asked Consultant Rheumatologist Dr Antoni Chan, MBChB, FRCP, PhD, who is also the Associate Medical Director and Clinical Lead for Townlands Hospital, Henley-on-Thames, for his advice during National Arthritis Week 2018. He writes:
“There are over 200 different types of arthritis and not all types of arthritis are the same.
Arthritis is a major cause of pain and suffering for many people. It is often believed that this is all down to getting old. While some of it may be due to degeneration of joints, there are also other forms of arthritis that are caused by the overactivity of our immune system. This causes inflammation in the joints and is not due to ageing.
It is important that if you have symptoms such as joint swelling, stiffness, and pain when you squeeze your joints that you see your GP. Your GP can then refer you on for specialist tests to determine if you have inflammatory arthritis.
Studies have shown that early diagnosis and treatment will ensure a good outcome and as patients will be on different types of treatment these conditions need to be monitored carefully. The end result will be to help patients regain their independence and reduce their pain and suffering.”
Don’t just live with pain – we’re here to help you live the life you want to. Call today and find out more on 0118 955 3563.
 Arthritis Research UK – September 2018