DUDLEY residents are being advised of the early signs of rheumatoid arthritis to encourage them to seek help sooner.

A new campaign called ‘EARLY’ which has been developed by the Dudley Rheumatology Service at Russells Hall Hospital, was launched yesterday (October 12) to mark World Arthritis Day.

The campaign aims to help people spot the signs and symptoms in order to get an early diagnosis which can delay or stop the damage caused by this painful inflammatory disease.

The symptoms include:


  • E – early morning join stiffness
  • A – aching and throbbing joint pains
  • R – redness or warm swollen joints
  • L – lasting symptoms beyond six weeks
  • Y – your small joins in the hands or feet are affected.

Dr Ravinder Sandhu, Consultant Rheumatologist at the Trust, said: “Our own audit data shows that patients have symptoms of RA for an average of 11 months before coming to our clinic for treatment.

“There is also evidence to suggest that starting treatment early, and particularly within the first three months of the onset of symptoms, can minimise joint damage and achieve better health outcomes.”