Frequently Asked Questions About Arthritis
- Arthritis Archives (90)
- Arthritis Glossary (17)
- Books About Arthritis (10)
- Facts and Statistics (11)
- Mortality and Arthritis (11)
- Myths / Misconceptions (8)
- Newsletters / E-Courses (9)
- Polls About Arthritis (16)
Is There an Arthritis Cure?
As soon as someone is diagnosed with arthritis, they want to know if there is a cure. Is there a cure for arthritis?
Doctor's Advice About Drinking Alcohol When Taking Arthritis Drugs
Alcohol may interact with arthritis medications, so it is best to avoid.
Alternative & Natural Treatments - Are They Useful For Arthritis?
Why should arthritis patients consider natural therapies and alternative treatments?
When Are Pain Medications Appropriate for Arthritis Patients?
Should you fear pain medications or are they appropriate as part of a treatment plan for arthritis?
Anemia - Is anemia commonly associated with chronic arthritis?
Anemia is often a symptom associated with chronic arthritis.
Anti-CCP - What is anti-CCP?
Anti-CCP is a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritic Joints - Are all joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis?
Arthritis can affect any joint. Patients present symptoms which can vary.
What Is an Arthritide?
The plural of arthritis is arthritide.
Arthritis Flare - What is an arthritis flare?
Arthritis patients may experience a flare-up of symptoms. An arthritis flare can be very painful and disruptive to usual activities.
Arthritis Medications - Does it matter if a person takes arthritis medications with or without food?
Follow instructions from your pharmacist when taking arthritis medications.
Arthritis Medications - How long should a patient stick with a new medication before considering it ineffective?
New medications can take time to become fully effective. It's hard to tell sometimes if you have given it a fair chance or if you should give up on a particular drug.
What Is an Arthritis Remission?
An arthritis remission is when clinical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis subside for a period of time.
Are Some Arthritis Patients Unsuitable Candidates For Biologic Drugs?
Biologics are not appropriate treatment options for all arthritis patients.
Blood Donation - Are rheumatoid arthritis patients able to donate blood?
Blood donation is a generous gift to give. Are people with rheumatic diseases excluded from blood donation?
Blood Donation - What Is An Autologous Blood Donation?
People may sometimes do an autologous blood donation prior to an elective surgery.
Blood Tests - Used To Monitor Arthritis Treatments
Blood tests are used to monitor the effectiveness of arthritis treatments and any problems which may be occurring, such as toxicity.
Blood Tests for Arthritis - What blood tests are commonly ordered to diagnose and monitor arthritis?
Blood tests help rheumatologists diagnose and monitor arthritis, but clinical symptoms are an important aspect too.
Can Computer Use Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Can computer use and other repetitive movements cause carpal tunnel syndrome?
What Causes Fibromyalgia
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown but genetics may play some role.
Chronic Fatigue Versus Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Is there a difference between "chronic fatigue" and "chronic fatigue syndrome"?
How Can You Prevent Colds or Flu When Taking Immunosuppressive Drugs?
People who take immunosuppressant drugs for rheumatic disease worry about preventing colds, flu, and infection? What should they do?
Common Mistakes Made By Arthritis Patients - Most Common Arthritis Mistakes
What are the most common mistakes made by arthritis patients?
Comorbid condition - What is a comorbid condition?
What is a comorbid condition? Do most people with arthritis have a comorbid condition? Does it make them harder to treat?
What Is CPPD (Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate Deposition Disease)?
CPPD (Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate Deposition Disease) is also known as pseudogout.
CRP and Sedrate - What Do the Blood Tests Show?
CRP and sedrate are commonly ordered blood tests. What do the tests tell doctors about arthritis?
What is Degenerative Arthritis?
Patients are often confused by the diagnosis of "degenerative arthritis". What is it?
Depression - When Does Sadness/Frustration Cross Over Into Depression?
Sadness is a normal emotion that we all feel at times. It's not the same as depression.
What Is DHEA?
An explanation of DHEA and how it supposedly helps with lupus.
Diet and Arthritis - Does diet have a direct impact on arthritis?
Many people believe diet has a direct impact on arthritis and related conditions. Gout is one such example but are there others?
DMARDS - Should a DMARD always be included in RA patient's treatment regimen?
DMARDS are a necesary part of rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
Drug allergy - Can a person develop a drug allergy at any time?
Information about developing a drug allergy - can it happen at any time?
Early Diagnosis of Arthritis - Is it Important?
Early diagnosis of arthritis sets the stage for a proper treatment plan. Don't self-treat until you are properly diagnosed.
Early, Aggressive Arthritis Treatment - Is early, aggressive treatment the recommendation for newly diagnosed patients?
Early, aggressive treatment for arthritis can prevent joint damage and deformity.
Edema - What are causes of intermittent edema in RA?
Intermittent edema in the ankles and calves can be an associated symptom of RA.
Elimination Diets - Are elimination diets appropriate for RA?
Some people tout diet as part of a treatment plan for RA. Is there any basis for elimination diet as a treatment for RA?
Emotional Impact of Arthritis - Recommendations for adjusting to emotional impact of living with chronic arthritis
Rheumatologist offers recommendations for adjusting to the emotional impact of living with chronic arthritis.
Enbrel - What causes the lull in effectiveness reported by some patients using Enbrel?
Some patients have reported a lull in effectiveness after using Enbrel for a couple of months.
Enbrel, Remicade, and Humira - How are the drugs similar and different?
Patients are often advised to weigh the benefit and risk of any medication, including TNF blockers Enbrel, Remicade, and Humira. What similarities and differences are there between the three drugs?
Fibromyalgia - How is fibromyalgia viewed by the medical community?
The medical community differs on their views of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia - Is fibromyalgia psychological, physical, or both?
It's still a debate whether the cause of fibromyalgia is psychological, physical, or both.
Fibromyalgia Diagnosis - How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?
Symptoms of fibromyalgia overlap with many other conditions.
Fibromyalgia in Women, Men and Children - Who Gets Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia affects as many as one in 50 Americans.
Fibromyalgia Syndrome - What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease.
Should People With Arthritis Get a Flu Shot?
Flu shots are important for people with rheumatic diseases.
Folic Acid and Methotrexate - Why is it necessary to take folic acid with methotrexate?
Folic acid is prescribed along with methotrexate. Learn why this is necessary.
Gold Injections - Oral Gold - Is Gold Commonly Or Rarely Used To Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Gold shots were used years ago as a standard treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Gold is rarely used now to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Hair Loss Caused By Medications - Can It Be Prevented Or Treated?
Hair loss is an unwanted side effect of some arthritis medications. Can hair loss be stopped or prevented with treatment?
What Is Gouty Arthritis?
A brief explanation and fast facts about gouty arthritis.
Is Hand Deformity From Rheumatoid Arthritis Preventable?
In rheumatoid arthritis, the small joints of the hands and wrists typically are involved, causing joint deformity.
Hearing Loss - Can Arthritis Cause Hearing Loss?
Some people with arthritis complain of ear problems or hearing loss. Is there a connection between arthritis and hearing loss?
HLA B27 - What is the significance of HLA B27 in rheumatic disease?
HLA B27 is an inherited gene marker associated with a number of related rheumatic diseases.
Hoarseness Or Voice Change: Possibly Related To RA?
Hoarseness or voice change can be related to arthritis. Do you know how?
Insomnia - What causes the insomnia?
Insomnia is prevalent in people suffering with chronic arthritis.
Polyarthritis, Inflammatory Arthritis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis - The Same?
Is there a difference between polyarthritis, inflammatory arthitis, and rheumatoid arthritis?
Joint protection - What are the basic principles of joint protection?
The principles of joint protection are important to reduce pain, joint damage, and disability.
What Is Joint Effusion?
Joint effusion is symptom of arthritis related to the abnormal accumulation of fluid in a joint.
Joint Replacement - When is the time right to get a joint replacement
Is it possible to be too young? Doctor advises when the time is right to get a joint replacement.
Knee resurfacing - Is knee resurfacing a viable alternative to joint...
Knee resurfacing is a surgical treatment option.
Lymphedema vs. Edema - What Is The Correlation With Rheumatoid Arthritis?
An explanation of the differences between lymphedema and edema.
Magnet therapy - How does magnet therapy help arthritis?
Static magnet therapy is believed to relieve pain by increasing circulation. The effectiveness of arthritis magnet therapy for relieving pain is still in question.
Manual Dexterity - What Actions Help Preserve Manual Dexterity?
What actions help preserve manual dexterity in people with arthritis of the hand?
Medical Journals - Are doctors reading medical journals to stay current on the latest information?
It is important for doctors to stay current on the lastest research news. Where do doctors primarily get their information - medical journals or pharmaceutical company information?
Minocycline - Is minocycline functioning as an antibiotic when used to treat arthritis?
Some people have had good results while taking minocycline for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
The Effect of Rheumatoid Arthritis on Mortality
It has been reported that rheumatoid arthritis can impact mortality. Are newer treatments having an effect?
What Is Mixed Connective Tissue Disease?
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease is complex. Learn about the difference between Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease.
What Is a Monoclonal Antibody?
Some biologic treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are monoclonal antibodies. What is a monoclonal antibody?
Morning Stiffness - What's the Significance?
Morning stiffness is a common symptom related to arthritis.
Mouth Sores - What Causes And Heals Mouth Sores In Arthritis Patients?
Mouth sores are not uncommon in arthritis patients. We examine the reasons for mouth sores and treatments for mouth sores.
MRI - Is MRI of value in the clinical setting for arthritis patients?
X-rays have long been a useful tool in diagnosing and monitoring arthritis. Are MRI scans becoming a more valuable tool?
MSM and SAMe - What should people know who are interested in MSM or SAMe to treat arthritis?
Nutritional supplements are getting more and more attention. People are searching for information on both MSM (the supplement touted by actor James Coburn) and SAM-e.
Muscle Relaxers And Arthritis - When Are Muscle Relaxers Prescribed For Arthritis Patients?
When are muscle relaxers appropriately prescribed for arthritis patients?
Orencia vs. TNF Antagonists - What's The Difference Between Orencia And Other Biologics?
Orencia (abatacept) is the first approved T-cell co-stimulation modulator approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. How is Orencia (abatacept) different from Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, and Anakinra?
Do Normal Blood Test Results Rule Out Rheumatic Diseases?
Do normal blood test results indicate that there is no presence of rheumatic disease?
Osteoarthritis - Do Athletes Develop Premature Osteoarthritis?
Is there a correlation between athletics and developing osteoarthritis?
Osteoporosis - What should people be doing to prevent osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a silent disease but bone density exams can help detect bones which are becoming weak.
Osteoporosis Risk - Is there an increased risk of osteoporosis for people who...
Certain risk factors make it more likely that a patient will develop osteoporosis.
What Is Pain?
There are two basic types of pain -- acute pain and chronic pain. Arthritis is chronic pain.
Pain Tolerance - Arthritis Patients Vary In Pain Tolerance
Pain tolerance or pain perception can vary among people with arthritis.
Plateau effect - Is there such a thing as a plateau effect for arthritis medications?
It has been the experience of many arthritis patients that after taking a particular NSAID for awhile it seems to stop working or lose effectiveness.
Platelet count - Is a high platelet count common with RA?
Platelet counts are often elevated in inflammatory conditions.
Potassium - Can Low or High Potassium Levels Be Caused by Medications?
Potassium levels in the blood can be abnormally high or low due to medication side effects.
Prednisone Use - What Are the Benefits Versus Risks?
Prednisone is a potent medication used to control symptoms of arthritis but there are potential side effects with longterm use.
Does Prednisone Tapering Minimize Withdrawal?
Prednisone tapering lessens withdrawal symptoms.
Prosorba Column - Who is a good candidate for the Prosorba Column?
Prosorba column is a possible treatment for rheumatoid arthritis if all conventional treatments have failed.
Psoriatic Arthritis - Rheumatoid Arthritis - What are the differences between psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
Distinction between rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
Prescription abbreviations can be hard to figure out. We've put together some of the most common abbreviations.
Psoriatic Arthritis - What are the primary symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and how is it treated?
A description of the variants of psoriatic arthritis and how the condition is treated.
Remicade - Is It Possible To Decrease Risk Of An Allergic Reaction?
Dr. Zashin explains what can be done to decrease the chance of having an allergic reaction to Remicade.
What Is Limited Range of Motion?
Limited range of motion is abnormally decreased flexion or extension of joints.
Remission - Do most RA patients reach the point when their disease is "burned out"?
An explanation of the term burn-out as it relates to RA, or is it just a remission?
Repicci knee - Is the Repicci Knee a valid alternative for total knee replacement?
Is the Repicci knee system a good alternative to total knee replacement?
Restless Legs Syndrome - Is RLS Chronic Or Treatable?
Scott Zashin M.D. describe possible causes of RLS and treatment options.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Prognosis - How Soon Will Symptoms Worsen?
Rheumatoid arthritis can be a scary diagnosis. Is there a way to determine what the future holds?
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hand - Is rheumatoid arthritis hand deformity preventable?
Rheumatoid arthritis hand deformity is a common symptom of the disease. Can it be prevented?
Rheumatoid Factor - What is the significance of a positive RA factor?
80% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have a positive rheumatoid factor, while 20% are negative for rheumatoid factor. What is the significance?
Rheumatoid Lung Disease - What Is Rheumatoid Lung Disease?
Lung abnormalities are not uncommon in rheumatoid arthritis.
Sedentary lifestyle - How important is it for an arthritis patient to avoid a sedentary lifestyle?
It is rather easy to become less active and fall into the pattern of a sedentary lifestyle because of the pain, fatigue, and limitations caused by chronic arthritis.
Side Effects Of Enbrel, Remicade, and Humira - Weighing The Risk vs. Benefits
Arthritis patients sometimes fear the side effects of the TNF blockers Enbrel, Remicade, and Humira. Should they be afraid and avoid these drugs?
Small joints - Is joint replacement an option for the small joints of hands and feet?
Joint replacement is common for knees and hips. Prostheses for the small bones of hands and feet are not as successful or developed.
Sports injury - Is it common for arthritis to develop after trauma, accident, or sports injury?
Repetitive trauma to the joints is almost a guarantee of problems, such as arthritis.
Steroid Injections - When are steroid injections indicated as a treatment for arthritis?
Corticosteroids are used to treat inflammation and arthritis. When are local steroid injections indicated?
Stopping Medications Pre-Op - Is it necessary to stop all medications prior to surgery?
It's common to be told to stop all medications prior to surgery. Is it always necessary?
Stress and Arthritis - How much impact does stress have on arthritis?
Stress is often pointed out as an aggravator of illness, including arthritis.
Substance P - What is Substance P?
Substance P is a neurotransmitter related to the sensation of pain. Substance P has been implicated in pain syndromes such as low back pain, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.
Synvisc - What is Synvisc and is it only used for the knee?
An explanation of Synvisc and viscosupplementation.
Taxes - Are Pools, Spas & Other Improvements Tax Deductible?
Improvements such as: pools, spas, elevators, lifts and ramps "may" be tax deductible.
Taxes - Can Food, Diet Foods & Weight-Loss Programs be Tax Deductible?
Can weight-loss programs, diet foods or a doctor-recommended special diet be tax deductible?
Taxes - Can You Deduct NonRX Drugs or Supplements on Your Taxes?
Taxes and over-the-counter products and other nonpresciption medical supplies.
Systemic Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis can involve the joints of the musculoskeletal system, as well as other organ systems.
TNF - TNF Drugs and Infection Risk
TNF drugs have an infection risk.
TNF Blocker Drug - When Is It Appropriate To Switch TNF Blocker Drugs?
If an patient is on one of the TNF blocker drugs, when is it appropriate to switch to another?
What Is a TENS Unit?
TENS units are used to block pain.
Tylenol Side Effects
Tylenol is a popular analgesic medication but even it can cause unwanted side effects.
Variation in response - Why are no two cases of arthritis alike?
Arthritis patients have dissimilar courses of disease and treatment effectiveness.
Weight Loss - Sound Advice For People With Arthritis About Weight Loss
Many people with arthritis have a hard time controlling their weight.
The Immune System - How It Works
When your immune system goes awry, arthritis can be the result. How does your immune system work?
Connection Between Weather and Arthritis
The effect of weather on arthritis is true for some, but just an old wives tale to others.