Arthritis and Rheumatic Disorders

Understanding Arthritis

About Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases
Arthritis, itself a group of more than 100 different diseases, is one category of rheumatic diseases.
Arthritis
Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are characterized by pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective tissues in the body.
Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases Statistics
Rheumatic diseases are the leading cause of disability among people ages 65 and older.
Diagnosing Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases
Diagnosing arthritis and other rheumatic diseases is often difficult, as many symptoms are similar among the different diseases.
Anatomy of a Joint
Joints are the areas where two or more bones meet. Most joints are mobile, allowing the bones to move.
Understanding Joint Pain
Sprained ankles and wrists, arthritic knees and hips and torn rotator cuffs all have one thing in common: They result in joint pain.

Types of Arthritis

Bursitis
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions a joint. When a bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is known as bursitis.
Gout
Gout is marked by inflamed, painful joints because of the formation of crystal deposits in them.
Infectious Arthritis
Infectious arthritis is an infection in the joint fluid and tissues. Different bacteria and viruses can infect a joint and usually are associated with a person's age.
Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a chronic, degenerative, joint disease that affects mostly middle-aged and older adults.
How to Prevent Osteoarthritis
The less unnecessary stress you put on your joints, the less likely they are to wear out prematurely.
Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis associated with psoriasis, a chronic skin and nail disease.
Reactive Arthritis (Reiter's Syndrome)
Reactive arthritis, also known as Reiter's syndrome, is a type of arthritis that occurs as a reaction to an infection somewhere in the body.
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Detailed information on ankylosing spondylitis, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Detailed information on juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, including cause, symptom, diagnosis, and treatment
Fibromyalgia
Detailed information on fibromyalgia, including cause, triggers, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Detailed information on rheumatoid arthritis, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

Types of Rheumatic Disorders

Raynaud's Phenomenon
This disorder affects blood flow to the fingers and less frequently to the ears, toes, nipples, knees, or nose. Exposure to cold and emotional upset are the triggers.
Scleroderma
Scleroderma is a chronic, degenerative disease that can lead to scarring of the skin, joints, and other internal organs.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)
Most people who have lupus are young women. The effects of the disease can range from mild to severe.

Treatment of Arthritis

Seven Proven Treatments for Arthritis Pain
Although there's no cure for arthritis, the symptoms can be treated effectively in many cases. Here's a look at some proven treatments.
Your Arthritis Health Care Team
No matter what form of arthritis you have, your role as part of your health care team can make the difference in how well you function with pain, stiffness or inflammation.
Treatment for Arthritis
Detailed information on the most common treatments used for arthritis

Living With Arthritis

Living with a Rheumatic Disease
With proper management, a rheumatic disease often does not have to hinder your daily activities.
Essential Self-Care for Arthritis
If you have arthritis, taking your medication and following your doctor's orders are essential. But self-care can be just as important in your daily and long-term management of the disease.
Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis
The treatment goals include reducing joint swelling, relieving stiffness, preventing joint damage and maintaining joint function.
Managing Arthritis with Exercise
Exercise has important health benefits for everyone -- regardless of age and physical condition. But for people with arthritis, working out regularly, and within their limits, is critical.
Arthritis and Exercise: Q and A
Doctors and physical therapists say people with arthritis can improve their health and fitness through exercise without damaging their joints.
Action Plan for Osteoarthritis
Taking arthritis medication is important, but what you do for yourself, including exercising, doing relaxation exercises and managing your emotions and attitudes, is just as crucial to your ability to lead an active, productive life.
Understanding Your Osteoarthritis Medication
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, most often affects weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips. It also can affect the hands and spine.
Nutrition to Help Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
What you eat and how you cook may make life easier for people with RA.