22,459 members26,192 posts


the other day i was talking to a friend and he got onto asking me how i was doing ,, when i told him id started this new medication and it was working fantastic ,, he said ,, wow thats great news ,, i should maybe get the wife on this ,, i said ,, why ?? does she suffer too .. he then when onto to tell me ,, that his wife has suffered for years ,, but wasnt sure what type of arthritis it was ,, but she mainly suffers with her hands feet and knees and even back at times .. he also said over the past few years ,, hes seen her slowly get worse , but still wont go to the docs about it , she says there is nothing there can do ,, her mum has osteo and she thinks its probably the same ,, also believes its just something youve got to live with .. " shes a tough cookie " ..

i did explain ,, that osteo is a totally different form of arthritis and i wasnt sure ,, what medication is available ,, but its very important she does seek medical attention ,, i know this isnt a RA question but does anyone know what treatment can be given and how do i try to explain that its important for her to visit a rheumatologist ..

i did feel abit hopeless really ,, i could see he wanted some help / advice and thought by asking me i would be able to give him some guidance ,, i guess this is just how people see arthritis its all the same .. but has we all know its not ..

can anyone help me with what i need to say ,, to try and help ..

thanks andy ..

9 Replies

Hi Andy,

Flying advice as need to do the school run but maybe direct them to the nhs link to start with this would them give them a basis on which to work from

Good Luck


I don't know a great deal about Osteoarthritis but from what you say she could have an inflammatory type anyway.

There's 2 things you could say that come to mind: one is that if it is inflammatory then of course there are things that can be done to slow the progression of the illness & keep her on her feet at least! The second is that there are treatments for Osteoarthritis & new ones are coming through all the time - at the very least she might occasionally want a steroid injection to give her a reprieve for a holiday or big occasion etc.

She only has to see her GP in the first instance doesn't she? (Mind you, that's me hoping that she has a proactive GP rather than one who is just grateful for a tough cookie he can send packing!)

Luce x


Hi Andy it is a hard one, this is normally what a man would say,... That's me being Sexist again ;))) or it would be stop fussing I'm fine!! I don't want to see the GP,... I would agree with the rest of the comments thou but at the end of the day it is up to her, all he can do really is keep on, and maybe just mention about you and what you have gone though,I know sometimes it frightens people,but it is better than leaving it to get worse, I don't anything about Osteoarthritis but i know it isn't nice from what i have heard, Hope this helps XXX


I'd just say not to assume that it is osteoarthritis, as there are various forms of inflammatory arthritis, and as those can be treated its important to see a rheumatologist to get properly diagnosed and tested. Even if it is OA, there are still some surgical options for when things get bad as well, so again, important to see a rheumatologist to make sure you get all the options.


There is much less treatment available for Osteo than for us, which is not to say that there's nothing that docs can do as even using a stronger prescription anti-inflammatory rather than just over the counter ones could help her a lot. But it sounds as if the big battle is to get her to go to see someone to start with, so perhaps you need to emphasise how much treatment has changed in last 10 to 15 years so it could be very different for her than it is for her mum. Also, perhaps suggest he looks on the arthritis care forum for other advice, or calls their helpline. Hope he manages to persuade, as I hate the thought of people being in moreain than they need to be. polly


Sounds like your friend was sounding you out as he is clearly worried about his wife. Clearly she needs to get the nerve to go to the GP, but as all my family have RA I buried my head in the sand when I was diagnosed as I just wasn't ready to know. I suspect if it gets that she is unable to do something that will be the prompt for her to seek help.its hard when u know they should see the doc and won't, but if you know her well maybe bring up an conversation with her. Good luck Axx


Agree with all above and there are so many articles in various arthritis mags. that emphasize the importance of early diagnosis if its RA or an inflammatory disease, so your friend's wife should go as soon as she can to get the diagnosis. Arthritis is a big family and it could be any one of many types, and I think help is there for all of them. I was ignored for the first couple of years I had symptoms (although mild ones) and when I did go to RA consultant for the test I remember praying to myself like mad, dont let it be RA, dont let it be RA! But it was, and as i got diagnosed fairly early, I think I am lucky in that the disease is being managed comparatively well. However, as said above, unless she gets treatment there is a chance of doing irreparable damage to her joints, etc.

Let's hope he can persuade her - does she have mother, sister, best friend who could talk to her? Sometimes the person closest to you is too involved and can be scared of causing a row if he pushes too much.

good luck to them



HI Andy, Just seen your post, my mother has the Osteo-type of Arthritis and I have PsA, her type is totally different in it's pattern and form. But she does see a Rhumatologist and has been given special injections that they are only allowed three per year, plus she takes medication each day plus an extra special one on Sunday mornings, before 7.00am, whereby she has to then stay standing or moving around for an hour. She makes lovely cakes at this time. This has helped her greatly, she was very similar to your friends wife and would not request to see anybody, until I contacted my illness and seen what the treatments were available to me then she did something about it. I do hope all the comments here are helpful and that she will heed the advice.


Hi Andy

I think the important thing is that she doesn't know what type of arthritis she has, so better that she sees someone to get tests done to confirm the type. If it's OA the treatments will tend to be things like painkillers, anti-inflammatories and physio, which can all help. In some cases surgery might also be suggested. She could always ring Arthritis Care for more information on this, but important that she sees someone in case it's RA, as she may need different treatment.

Here is a link to Arthris Care's details:

Kind regards


(NRAS Helpline)


You may also like...