Arthritis Clinic

Arthritis can affect people of all ages, and can cause pain and disability more commonly in people over the age of 50. More than one million adults* consult their GP each year with osteoarthritis. However, having arthritis does not mean you have to stop being active. There is plenty that can be done to help you to lead a full and active, healthy life.*

The active arthritis service at Progress, the Cambridge Centre for Health and Performance offers a holistic approach to managing your arthritis. We aim to help you to stay fit and active, maintain good quality of life, and slow the rate of progression of your condition.

The service is directed by Professor Cathy Speed, Consultant in Rheumatology, Sport & Exercise Medicine. She leads the Progress Active Arthritis team of professionals who work together to deliver a customised programme of care to suit your needs. The team includes physiotherapists, dieticians, trainers, a biomechanist/podiatrist, and others. We all work together to ensure you understand your condition, how to manage it and provide you with best proactive care and support, both in the short and long term.

You can self-refer to the service, or ask your GP to refer you. If you have health insurance you will need a GP referral.

What should I do next if I want a bone check-up at Progress?

  • Insured Patients
    Simply visit your GP and ask them to refer you to Professor Cathy Speed at Progress. Your GP will write a letter of referral and then you can contact us on 01223 200580 to arrange your first appointment. Please check with your insurer that treatment will be covered under your policy.
  • Self Pay Patients
    For self-pay treatments, simply call us on 01223 200580 to request a guide price or to discuss your personal situation. Professor Speed accepts self-referrals without the need to visit your GP.

*Published by the Arthritis Research Campaign (arc),
*Adults: defined as people aged 15+

Arthritis and Rheumatism

The word rheumatism means aches and pains in joints, bones and muscles; arthritis is the inflammation of the joints.

There are over 200 kinds of rheumatic diseases, which are often referred to as arthritis or musculoskeletal diseases. Around 10 million people in the UK are affected by these diseases.
Some forms of arthritis are rare whilst other forms, such as osteoarthritis, are much more common. Arthritis is commonly seen as a condition which affects mainly older people, however, it affects people of all ages including children.

The different types of musculoskeletal conditions fall into 5 main categories:

  • inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • degenerative or mechanical arthritis such as osteoarthritis
  • soft tissue musculoskeletal pain such as shoulder or knee problems (possibly related to an injury)
  • back pain
  • connective tissue diseases such as lupus, schleroderma or vasculitis

Professor Cathy Speed, Consultant in Rheumatology, Sport and Exercise Medicine at Progress will assess people with all these problems whether there is one joint or part of the body affected or many areas. Professor Speed will use clinical skills, blood tests including immunology, image with x-ray, ultrasound, CT (Computerised Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to make a diagnosis and then advise on a suitable treatment. There are many treatments available including drug treatment, physical therapy with Progress specialist physiotherapists, injection techniques and surgery.