Arthritis is a disease of the joints.
Painful, stiff joints are the most
common signs of arthritis. Other
signs are swelling, warmth, and
redness in the joints. People often
have trouble moving the joints
Arthritis is a problem for many
adults age 65 and older. About 42
million Americans have some form
of arthritis. It can affect people of
all ages and races.
Why do people get arthritis?
• They put stress on the joints over
• They are overweight.
• It runs in their family.
• They are women. Women are
affected 2 to 3 times more often
How can the doctor tell if I have
This can be tricky. Other diseases
can have the same signs. The
• Ask about your health history.
• Do an exam and look at your
• Order lab tests of blood or urine
• Order X-rays or other tests to see
inside the joints.
Questions the doctor might ask:
• Is the pain in one or more joints?
• When do you have the pain?
• How long does the pain last?
• What were you doing when you
first had the pain?
• Does moving around make the
pain better or worse?
• Have you been sick or had any
• Has anyone in your family had
• What drugs are you taking?
• Does anything make it better?
What are the treatments?
• Healthy diet
• Weight loss
• Heat and cold
• Learning how to relax deeply
• Canes, splints, or other items to
take stress off the joint
FDA Office of Women’s Health http://www.fda.gov/womens
TAKE TIME TO CARE... For yourself, for those who need you.
What can I do to help my doctor
• Help plan your treatment.
• Ask questions.
• Understand your treatment plan.
• Follow directions for taking your
To Learn More:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Phone: 301-495-4484 or 1-877-22-NIAMS (1-877-226-4267)