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Rheumatology

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There are more than 200 forms of arthritis, the most common of which can be organised into the following categories:

  • Inflammatory Arthritis (including Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis)

  • Connective Tissue Disease (including Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, Myositis and Vasculitis)

  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Temporal Arteritis.

  • Gout and Pseudogout

  • Osteoarthritis

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If you have a diagnosis of one of the first four above, you may be offered Occupational or Physiotherapy as part of your treatment. Managing osteoarthritis on an ongoing basis is best done by your GP, not the rheumatology team.

The Versus arthritis website is a good starting point for information on all conditions. Click the link to find our more.

Exercise

The other tabs on Harrogate Health Hub may be used for specific Joint exercises as advised by your clinician.

A general exercise programme is suggested for all Rheumatology conditions as this can help relieve stiffness and joint pains. The link below is one suitable for most conditions but if you have any concerns, discuss these with your healthcare professional before taking part in any new activity.

Flare Care

If you are experiencing a joint flare please see the leaflet below. 

 

Fatigue Management

For more information about fatigue management, download an information leaflet below

 

  • Acute back pain
    Acute back pain can come on suddenly, or over time and can range from a mild pain or ache to quite severe pain, which can be extremely distressing and can sometimes stop you carrying out your everyday activities. It is often difficult to identify why your back is painful as the pain can come from joints, muscles or nerves being inflammed, stretched or compressed. More often than not, acute back pain comes on without any specific injury to your back. You may experience: Back pain Muscle spasm Stiffness Leg pain (sciatica) Watch the video above to find out how to help with this. For most cases of back pain, X-ray and scans are of little benefit.
  • Chronic Back Pain
    Chronic back pain refers to pain that has not gone away after three months. Like acute back pain, it is usually caused by a strain or a sprain in the back - but the pain and distress can last for much longer and it can have a big impact on your day-to-day life. Chronic back pain can range from a mild pain or ache, to a more severe pain. This can depend on a variety of things, such as how happy you are at home or at work, if you are prone to depression or if you have had back pain before. Chronic back pain usually requires treatment such as medication or physiotherapy. In most cases though, your back will heal itself. It is important that you keep active and continue as normal, but if your pain is severe and persistent then you should seek medical advice for diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.
  • Sciatica
    Sciatica is a pain that travels down from your lower back or buttock, to your foot. It usually happens when the jelly within the discs that separate the bones of your spine (vertebrae) pushes out of the disc and irritates the sciatic nerve. Swollen muscles, joints or ligaments can also irritate the nerve causing sciatica. The sciatic nerve runs down through the back, into the buttock, down the back of the leg and round to the outside of the lower leg and foot. When the nerve gets compressed or irritated, the brain interprets the pain as coming from the buttock or leg instead of the back, where the problem actually is. The pain is often a severe shooting pain, sometimes accompanied with pins and needles or numbness. You should seek urgent medical attention if you experience any of the following: - loss of control of your bladder or bowel - numbness around your saddle (genital) area - problems with the coordination of your steps when walking Sciatica can usually be helped with exercise. If the pain is too severe to exercise, speak to your GP about medication you could take for a short time to allow you to exercise. When you're ready, try to exercise class on the back pain webpage.
  • Spinal Stenosis
    Download an information pack here For more information, see the Versus Arthritis website here

Useful Apps

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MySpA
This App has been created by the Rheumatology Service at Whipps Cross University Hospital to provide instant access to medical information, exercises and assessments to help you manage your spondyloarthritis (SpA)
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Back to Action
is a new exercise application specifically designed for people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). It has been created by physiotherapists working with NASS and the exercise therapists and doctors who treat military personnel with AS at Headley Court. It uses the most up-to-date knowledge from the fields of physiotherapy and sports medicine.
Android version coming soon.
Disease activity score logo

Disease Activity Score (DAS) is an assessment used by clinicians to measure rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity, to determine whether the signs and symptoms have reduced or stopped, and if treatment needs to be adjusted.

This free health app from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is designed to help you stay one step ahead of your RA.

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Hand Therapy
An app developed by the hand team at Chelsea and Warminster hospitals to improve the quality and care of hand therapy patients.
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Arthritis Tracker
Created with young people for young people, Arthritis Tracker lets you rate your symptoms in seconds and see a simple summary of your recent pain, sore joints, medication side effects, energy levels, activity, sleep and emotions.
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RheumaBuddy

RheumaBuddy supports you in your everyday life with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). It has been co-created together with hundreds of patients and leading Rheumatologists.
 

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