Does Tendonitis go with RA and can anyone advise re OT?

Excuse my ignorance but the Occupational Therapist has just phoned and hopes to visit me at home next week. I was referred by the physio apparently with RA and 'acute tendonitis' in my hands/ fingers? I thought the problems were caused by inflammation to my finger joints but she said that the inflammation in joints is because of tendon trouble caused by RA? I'm confused.

Also have others here been visited at home by an OT - what should i expect?

I didn't want to put her off but my hands are feeling a lot better yesterday and today since i worked on the exercises the physio gave me and these deep ultrasonic massages she's been doing on my knuckles so I feel like a fraud now? Could she give me things to help me squeeze shampoo or toothpaste out or washing up liquid or things to open dishwasher tablets and does it matter that everything might have improved a lot by then? I'm really worried now that she'll think I'm milking it but then I didn't refer myself!?

10 Replies

Do see the OT they're really helpful and have lots of handy devices:-} Visiting you at home will help them to see what adaptations or aides you need.

Yes, the tendonitis goes with the RA - have had this problem with my knees and feet - it's a bit chicken or egg for me as to what causes which bit of inflammation but it is all inter-connected.

Cece x


ps they understand that symptoms wax and wane in RA - so don't feel a fraud!

C x


hi, definately see the OT they can make you some very helpful suports which really helped me, I tend to get tendonitis in my feet and they have helped me a lot. They told me you tend to get tendonitis with ra, but do get the advice. Axx


Thanks Cece. I always worry, as I'm sure you know by now, that people will think me a fraud! My swollen fingers and knuckles were the visible bit that clinched the deal re my rheumy diagnosis so I got a bit bewildered to be told that it's all down to tendonitis re RA - and started my old worrying that I'm bringing it all on myself by working with embroidery (tendonitis = repetitive strain injury) and the RA diagnosis is all a big mistake - you know how it is with me!? Yes I said she could come, weather permitting (our driveway is like sliding down a cliff!) on Thursday.

I realise now that when the physio saw me on Monday she was quite shocked by the state of my knuckles and fingers but by Thursday was happier. Meanwhile she must have convinced the busy OT people to help me before Xmas so I can chop and cook for my brood! Frankly they can make do with takeaways and my lentil soup as long as I can work in studio - that's my main concern - especially after the Xmas tree debacle!

Tilda x


I am sitting here with 2 tennis elbow's...............I don't play tennis I have RA and picked up too many 12 packs of pop. I AM a popaholic! Yes, it happens to us. Add it to the list! (diet pop only)


Ha ha Trix - speaking of pop I'm just back from panto in which my son played the joker and in the interval my hubby bought me an icecream but I couldn't get the fiddly spoon out! When my hubby gave me his it was too hard for me to eat - hands so pathetic tonight really - so I gave the icecream to my son to give him extra punch for all his remaining rubbish jokes in the second half! One way to save calories anyhow.

Thanks I've got weird elbows too, can't lean on tables rudely anymore, and it's reassuring to know that I haven't brought the tendonitis/ RA on myself at least. TTx


Tell the ot about anything you have previously struggled with because its most likely you will have the same problems again during a flare.

Mine gave me allsorts from cutlery, jar grippers, sock aids, a bath lift and a mattress variator and she even arranged the paperwork for a grant for a stair lift and wet room.

They can also help and advise about work and things like a blue badge etc.

So make your list out

Take care

Julie x


Thanks Julie. I will tell her that it all started in my knees. The rheumy did say he'd found inflammation in one knee but to be honest I really can't tell and for me it's just settled into my hands and wrists and even my shoulders are fine again just now. It's hard to describe symptoms which seem to be in the past. I know logically that I might wake up one day with it all flaring again but I haven't had that experience since taking the Predinsolone back in October so I guess I'm just very lucky to only have to think about my hands and wrists presently rather than it circling about unpredictably as it did earlier. Thanks for all your advice. TTx


They must be linked. I had tennis elbows for 8 years prior to being diagnosed with R.A and am sure that was the start.

OT are very helpful and will have all sorts of very useful advice for you.

All the best,



Thanks - I had tennis elbow for a few years too and I only made the connection with the RA now because I've been seeing the same physio as I saw then and she reminded me this morning and we both wondered if that could have been the start of the RA.

I've really been in pain again today and that's making me feel quite focused on this OT visit on Thursday. I think I just go into denial on good days and think it's all wrongly diagnosed and just RSI from working flat out for years as an artist. But today the physio was spelt it out quite clearly that my hands are really RA nothing else and that is a very common place for RA to make itself at home because the joints are small and very hard to rest. I was making my list for OT just now thinking a new pair of hands and wrists would be fine but tonight the list extends to include elbows, knees and feet! TTx


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