There are many forms of arthritis (inflammation of the joints) and one of them is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). It is a joint disease where the immune system (which protects us from infections) mistakenly attacks the synovium (the membrane that lines the joints). This causes a long term (chronic) inflammation that affects the joints, normally on the upper and lower limbs. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of arthritis that occurs in the elbow joint.


  • Stiffness in the joints that last for hours (usually in the morning)
  • Red, warm & swollen joints, nodules or lumps around the elbow
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness (fatigue)


  • No known cause for the onset of the disease (idiopathic)
  • Smoking increases the risk


There are three aspects to treating rheumatoid arthritis:

  1. Drugs
    • Pain killers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
    • Steroids
  2. Physiotherapy
    • Exercises that strengthen muscles and increase flexibility
    • Learn to use heat/ice to help with recovery
    • Therapeutic massages to soothe the pain
  3. Surgery
    • Arthroplasty (joint replacement)
    • Other procedures recommended by the surgeon

Is pain affecting your day-to-day life and mental health?