Step 1 – recognising symptoms before seeking help
At Step 1 you may be experiencing joint pain and/or back pain but haven’t yet visited your GP about your symptoms. You may have seen one of the following two posters which alert people to the common signs and symptoms of one of the three most common forms of inflammatory arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.
The Squeeze Test is one of the most reliable tests for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis and involves squeezing the patient's hand or foot across the knuckle joints as shown. If this test is unduly painful then it may indicate these conditions.
Test A shows an MCP (metacarpophalangeal) test.
Test B shows an MTP (metatarsophalangeal) test.
You may also be interested in the following general information:
If you’re experiencing pain, stiffness and/or swelling in your joints then you may want to visit NHS Direct and use the self-assessment tool.
If you’re experiencing symptoms which might relate to inflammatory arthritis, don’t delay – seek help from your GP as soon as possible.