There are more than 100 kinds of arthritis, with many different possible causes. In a 2009 CDC survey of 30,000 U.S. adults, 22% 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 Basics
Step 1: What is osteoarthritis?
Step 2: Symptoms
Step 3: Causes
Step 4: How osteoarthritis is diagnosed
II. Treating Osteoarthritis
Step 5: Overview of arthritis treatment
Step 6: Heat and cold therapy
Step 7: Pain medication
Step 8: Other options
Step 9: Unproven remedies
III. Managing Osteoarthritis
Step 10: Weight control and exercise
Step 11: Living with osteoarthritis
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Review Date: 12/12/2012
Reviewed By: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.