This is the official website of the South African Rheumatism and Arthritis Association, home of the rheumatology community of South Africa. Our aim is to promote, maintain and protect the honour and interest of the discipline of rheumatology as a medical specialty for the benefit of all.

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Arthritis and Related Diseases

Here is a sampling of the most common types of questions people ask

Q: If my father and mother had arthritis, does that mean I'll get it?

A: While researchers suspect that some forms of arthritis have genetic links that does not necessarily mean that you will develop it. There are other “triggers” that can lead to someone having arthritis and many forms of arthritis are not fully understood as to what their causes may be.

Q: My doctor has recommended surgery for my arthritis. What do I need to know?

A: For some people, joint replacement and other types of surgery can provide significant pain relief and restore physical function. Your physician can help you find a qualified surgeon in your area who can do the procedures, and may be able to provide names of other people who have had the surgery with whom you can speak.

Q: Where is the best place to live if I have arthritis?

A: Some people with arthritis feel better in a warm, dry climate. For people with arthritis, life can be easier in a warm climate, because they don’t have to struggle with ice and snow. Studies of the effects of weather on people with rheumatoid arthritis are inconclusive. Symptoms may worsen if the barometric pressure goes down and the humidity goes up. And even if the warmer, drier climate helps you feel better, it will not alleviate the disease itself. If you are considering a move to a warmer climate, spending more time than a vacation there will be necessary to assess how your symptoms are affected. Another thing to consider before moving is the effect of moving away from your support system of family and friends, which may outweigh the benefits of the warmer weather.

Q: My disease is not included in your fact sheets or brochures and I want more information. What should I do?

A: If your condition is uncommon, visit the Web site of the National Organization for Rare Disorders ( ), which has an extensive information library.
Exercise Programs

Q: I want to start an exercise program and I have arthritis. What should I do?

A: First, speak with your doctor to find out which forms of exercise will be best suited to your particular physical condition. Consider developing your exercise program with the help of a physical therapist or personal trainer skilled in working with people who have arthritis.



Q: I'm experiencing some side effects from my medication. Is that normal?

A: All drugs, even over-the-counter medications, have potential side effects. You’ll find them listed right on the package or on an inserted sheet. You should be familiar with the information, and be aware of the side effects that require immediate medical attention. Your doctor or pharmacist can also provide more specific information about side effects based on your medical history and other medications you may be taking. Please contact your doctor or seek emergency treatment right away if you’re experiencing problems.

Q: Will my arthritis medication(s) interact with other medications?

A: There can sometimes be dangerous interactions between medications. If you have concerns, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about potential problems. Using your medical history and medication plan, they can quickly determine any potentially harmful interactions.

Local Resources

Q: Is there an Arthritis support group near me?

A: Have a look on The Arthritis Foundation of South Africa


If you have a question feel free to ask us:

    Q: Do you have names of doctors in my city who treat arthritis?

    A: Yes click here to find a Rheumatologist