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Rheumatoid arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the joints in the body become inflamed and swollen. If untreated it can lead to reduced movement of the joints and the breakdown of bone and cartilage. Other organ systems can also be involved. The severity varies a great deal from person to person. 

If you are referred to us with rheumatoid arthritis, or suspected rheumatoid arthritis, you will be treated by the team in the Rheumatology Department.

What might the treatment involve?

Most rheumatic diseases cannot be cured but effective treatment can allow sufferers to live pain free and active lives. Early initiation of treatment can cause the disease to go into remission.

Treatments include pain relief, medication, exercise, dietary control, rest and relaxation and education on how best to manage the condition. Other treatment may include the use of assistive devices such as splints and braces.

It is important that the doctor and the patient work together to develop a treatment schedule that helps each patient maintain or improve his or her lifestyle. It is not unusual for treatment plans to combine several differing types of treatment depending on the condition of the patient.

Related wards and clinics

The rheumatology team operates clinics in:

  • Reading
  • Wallingford
  • Wantage
  • Newbury
  • Henley. 

If you need to stay in the Royal Berkshire Hospital you will be admitted to Loddon Ward.


Useful Contacts

Royal Berkshire Hospital Foundation Trust
London Road

0118 322 5111