Arthritis guide

There are more than 100 kinds of arthritis, with many different possible causes. In a 2006 CDC survey of 30,000 U.S. adults, 20% reported having been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. The survey also showed that arthritis was more common in overweight people. Eight percent reported some sort of limitation in movement because of arthritis.

In general, arthritis usually involves pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. The following guide is about the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis. People with this type lose cartilage, the tissue that protects the joints.

The steps below will supplement the information from your doctor and help you manage this challenging condition.

I. The BasicsStep 1: What is osteoarthritis?Step 2: SymptomsStep 3: CausesStep 4: How osteoarthritis is diagnosedII. Treating OsteoarthritisStep 5: Overview of arthritis treatmentStep 6: Heat and cold therapyStep 7: Pain medicationStep 8: Other optionsStep 9: Unproven remediesIII. Managing OsteoarthritisStep 10: Weight control and exerciseStep 11: Living with osteoarthritis

More Information

Drug treatment - Cox-2 inhibitors

Drug treatment - injectible corticosteroids

Drug treatment - injectable hyaluronic acid


Rheumatoid arthritis


Personal journal


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Last reviewed 12/12/2010 by Andrew W. Piasecki, MD, Camden Bone and Joint, LLC, Orthopaedic Surgery/Sports Medicine, Camden, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Previously reviewed by Thomas N. Joseph, MD, Private Practice specializing in Orthopaedics, subspecialty Foot and Ankle, Camden Bone & Joint, Camden, SC. (10/6/2008)


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