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Let's Talk About Rheumatoid Arthritis

In this instalment of 'Let's Talk About Disability', we are talking about Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Annually in September, Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week (RAAW) is celebrated. RAAW is an annual campaign created by NRAS to raise awareness of the condition and eliminate misconceptions by educating and informing people about what rheumatoid arthritis is.

There is more information about symptoms and treatments for rheumatoid arthritis on the NHS website.

    Not familiar with this instalment's theme? Find out more by clicking below:

    What is rheumatoid arthritis?

    Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints. It is what is known as an auto-immune condition. This means that the immune system, which is the body’s natural self-defence system, gets confused and starts to attack the body’s healthy tissues. In rheumatoid arthritis, the main way it does this is with inflammation in the joints.

    The main symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are joint pain, joint swelling, warmth, and redness, and joint stiffness, especially first thing in the morning or after sitting still for a long time.

    Other symptoms can include tiredness and lack of energy, a poor appetite, weight loss, a high temperature/fever/sweating, dry eyes, and chest pain.

    You can learn more about rheumatoid arthritis on the Versus Arthritis website.

    How many people have rheumatoid arthritis?

    Rheumatoid arthritis affects around 400,000 adults aged 16 and over in the UK. It can affect anyone of any age.

    Stories from our community

    Learn more by reading the personal story of a staff member below and other personal stories of arthritis on the Arthritis Action website.

    "I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2002, having worked for the University for 13 years. Swollen, painful joints made it increasingly difficult to work in a laboratory environment and I was fortunate to be able to move to more office based work. I received a workstation assessment from Occupational Health and have since been provided with equipment to help my needs (e.g. an optical trackball, a narrower keyboard and voice activation software). This support from the University has been very helpful and has enabled me to continue working full time".

    Anonymous staff member

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