@Hairy, If you have a nearby Tesco or Sainsbury with a pharmacy counter you may find they have a rack of the very informative booklets published by the BMA Family Doctor Books (my local Sainsbury does) one of which is "Understanding Arthritis and Rheumatism" See here: http://familydoctor.co.uk/family-doctor-books.html Very informative, but of course no substitute for your GP.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.
When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Mrs tinto aka the Bionic Woman has had both hips and one knee replaced and is waiting an appointment for the other knee to be replaced. It may seem a bit drastic, but these operations have been the only effective pain relief treatment she's found for her arthritis, which is now beginning to affect her hands too.