There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but all have one thing in common: These different diseases affect joints. Many of them also affect the areas and structures surrounding joints. Perhaps more important, arthritis is painful and can interfere with your ability to do the things that you enjoy, from cooking a meal to playing golf.
The number of people with arthritis is staggering. In 2005, 66 million adults in the United States — nearly 1 in 3 — had either been diagnosed with arthritis or were living with undiagnosed chronic joint pain and other symptoms. Although the risk of some types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, increases with age, more than half of those affected by all types of arthritis are younger than 65. In fact, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Americans older than 15.
It doesn’t have to be that way. If you have arthritis, there are steps you can take, starting today, to protect your joints, reduce pain, and improve mobility. The exact strategy depends on the type of arthritis you have, but for most people, there is reason for optimism.
This report describes how arthritis affects the joints and other structures. It explains how the various kinds of arthritis are diagnosed and treated, and tells how to minimize the impact of arthritis in your life.
Obtaining the correct diagnosis is particularly important — and sometimes quite difficult. Joint discomfort can result from any one of a number of different conditions, but even blood and imaging tests often provide no definitive answer. Because being able to describe your symptoms is so important, this report discusses the variety of symptoms that may occur, and which are typical of particular kinds of arthritis.
In addition, you will find here detailed information and specific treatment advice for the two most common types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, along with a brief look at other types of arthritis, such as gout, pseudogout, ankylosing spondylitis, and infectious arthritis.
Because living with arthritis requires more than finding a drug treatment, this report also provides advice about how to exercise safely, cope with emotions, and evaluate whether complementary therapies, such as glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, are right for you.
Millions of people live with arthritis, but this report will suggest ways to live well .
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