1 - Arthritis is not a single disease.
Many people speak of arthritis as if it were a single disease. Actually, there are over 100 types of arthritis and related rheumatic conditions. It is important to be accurately diagnosed, know your type of arthritis, and begin an appropriate treatment course.
- Arthritis Screening Quiz
- Fast Facts About Arthritis
- Recognizing Early Arthritis Symptoms
- Rheumatism, Rheumatic Disease, and Arthritis: The Same?
2 - There is no known cure for arthritis but there are many treatment options.
There is no single medication or treatment that cures arthritis. Treatment options can help manage pain, control arthritis symptoms, and reduce joint damage or deformity.
- Is There an Arthritis Cure?
- How Is Arthritis Treated?
- Arthritis Medications
- Natural Remedies for Arthritis
3 - There are many myths and misconceptions about arthritis.
Have you heard that arthritis only affects old people? Not true. Did you know that arthritis causes only minor aches and pains? Not true. Arthritis can be cured by changes in your diet? Not true again. These and several other examples of myths and misconceptions about arthritis, perpetuated by the spread of inaccurate information, can keep a person from managing the disease properly.
4 - A rheumatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating arthritis and other rheumatic conditions.
Your primary care doctor can refer you to a rheumatologist or you can get an appointment through self-referral if your health insurance allows it. Evaluation by a rheumatologist is important so that you can determine your type of arthritis and start a treatment plan.
- First Visit to the Rheumatologist
- The Right Doctor for You
- Should You Change Doctors?
- 10 Reasons to Fire Your Doctor
5 - Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent joint deformity and disability.
Since there are various types of arthritis and many treatment options, it is important to be properly diagnosed and treated early in the course of the disease. Delaying diagnosis and treatment allows arthritis symptoms to worsen. The best chance for preventing joint deformity and disability begins with early diagnosis and treatment.
- How Is Arthritis Diagnosed?
- Early Diagnosis of Arthritis: Is It Important?
- Is Early, Aggressive Treatment Recommended for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients?
- More About Diagnosing Arthritis
6 - You may have to try several treatment options before finding the most optimal treatment plan for you.
There are two important points to remember about arthritis treatment. Patients vary in their response to arthritis medications or other arthritis treatments. What works for one person may not work for another. Also, to find the safest and most effective medication or combination of medications, you'll have to weigh the benefits versus the risks.
- Arthritis Drugs - What Are My Options?
- Test Your Knowledge - Arthritis Medications
- Does Pain Tolerance Vary Among Arthritis Patients?
- A Positive Approach to Arthritis
7 - A healthy lifestyle and good habits may positively impact the course of arthritis.
Regular exercise, maintaining ideal weight, stress reduction, being a non-smoker and getting good sleep are part of better living with arthritis. Learn why lifestyle is important.
- Exercise - Essential Treatment for Arthritis
- What Makes People With Arthritis Overweight?
- The Effect of Stress on Arthritis
- Smoking Doubles Risk of Severe Arthritis
- Tips for Good Sleep
8 - Besides the physical limitations imposed by arthritis, living with chronic pain can have emotional consequences.
So many emotions are stirred by living with chronic pain. Anger, resentment, depression, isolation and fear are just a few. It is important for you and your loved ones to realize that living with arthritis affects your emotions.
- The Many Emotions of Chronic Arthritis
- Why Am I So Angry?
- The Veil of Isolation
- Arthritis - Fearing the Future
9 - There is a financial impact associated with chronic arthritis.
Arthritis and related rheumatic conditions are recognized as the leading cause of disability in the United States. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total cost of arthritis is $128 billion/year and rising. Medical expenses and lost wages are factored into the financial impact of arthritis.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Have Trouble Affording Medical Care
- Social Security Disability Income - Do You Qualify?
- Guide to Disability Services
- Can I Continue to Work?
10 - Arthritis can cause functional limitations which interfere with activities of daily living.
According to the CDC, more than 42% (21.1 million) of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis report arthritis-attributable activity limitations. Some of the activity limitations are vital activities of daily living such as bending, stooping, walking and climbing stairs. Consequently, cleaning, cooking, personal hygiene and other daily activities are affected.
- Arthritis Affects Daily Living Activities
- 10 Cooking Tips for People With Arthritis
- Assistive Devices for Arthritis
Arthritis Data and Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.