Articles for Patients


  1. Ankylosing Spondylitis.
  2. Arthritis Foundation.
  3. Aspirin and Related Drugs (NSAIDs).
  4. Back Pain.
  5. Basics of Surgery for Arthritis.
  6. Behcet's Disease.
  7. Bursitis, Tendinitis, and Other Soft Tissue Rheumatic Syndromes.
  8. CPPD Deposition Disease.
  9. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  10. College and Arthritis.
  11. Continuing Medical Education: Polymyalgia Rheumatica.
  12. Continuing Medical Education: Spondyloarthropathies
  13. Continuing Medical Education: Synovitis.
  14. Continuing Medical Education: Understanding Osteoarthritis.
  15. Corticosteroids for Arthritis.
  16. CPPD Deposition Disease
  17. Cytotoxic Drugs.
  18. Diabetes Basics.
  19. Diet and Arthritis.
  20. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
  21. Exercise and Arthritis.
  22. Exercise Movies for Arthritis.
  23. Families and arthritis.
  24. Fatigue.
  25. Fibromyalgia.
  26. Frequently Asked Questions about Arthritis Medications.
  27. Frequently Asked Questions about Arthritis.
  28. Frequently Asked Questions about Living with Arthritis.
  29. Gold Treatment.
  30. Gout.
  31. Infectious Arthritis.
  32. Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  33. Joints.
  34. Juvenile Arthritis.
  35. Lab Tests.
  36. Lupus Erythematosus.
  37. Lyme disease.
  38. Managing Arthritis Pain.
  39. Marfan Syndrome.
  40. Methotrexate.
  41. Myositis.
  42. Osteoarthritis.
  43. Osteogenesis Imperfecta.
  44. Osteonecrosis.
  45. Osteoporosis.
  46. Paget's Disease.
  47. Polyarteritis.
  48. Polymyalgia Rheumatica.
  49. Pregnancy and Arthritis.
  50. Psoriatic Arthritis.
  51. Raynaud's Phenomenon.
  52. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome.
  53. Reiter's Syndrome.
  54. Research on Arthritis.
  55. Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  56. Scleroderma.
  57. Sex and Arthritis.
  58. Sjogren's Syndrome.
  59. Stress and Arthritis.
  60. Technical Information: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Fibromyalgia.
  61. Travel and Arthritis.
  62. Unproven Remedies for Arthritis.
  63. Using Joints Wisely.
  64. Vocational Rehabilitation.
  65. Washington/Alaska Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.
  66. Water Exercises.
  67. Work and Arthritis.
  68. Working with Your Doctor.

Arthritis Basics

The word "arthritis" literally means joint inflammation ("arthr-" means joint; "-itis" means inflammation). It refers to more than 100 different diseases. These diseases usually affect the area in or around joints, such as muscles and tendons. Some of these diseases can also affect other parts of the body, including the skin and internal organs. Arthritis usually causes stiffness, pain and fatigue.

Over 43 million Americans, or one in every seven people, have arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. It affects people of all ages, but it most often comes on as a person gets older.

The articles in this section offer information about the basics of arthritis and the main support groups for people with arthritis.


  1. Arthritis Foundation
  2. Frequently Asked Questions about Arthritis
  3. Joints
  4. Washington/Alaska Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation
 
Arthritic Conditions

There are many types of arthritis. Most forms of arthritis are chronic, which means they may last a lifetime.

Arthritis most often affects areas in or around joints. Joints are parts of the body where bones meet, such as your knee. The ends of the bones are covered by cartilage, a spongy material that acts as a shock absorber to keep bones from rubbing together. The joint is enclosed in a capsule called the synovium. The synovium's lining releases a slippery fluid that helps the joint move smoothly and easily. Muscles and tendons support the joint and help you move. Different types of arthritis can affect one or more parts of a joint. This often results in a change of shape and alignment in the joints. 

Certain types of arthritis can also affect other parts of the body such as the skin and internal organs. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. It is important to know which type of arthritis you have so you can treat it properly. If you don't know which type you have, call your doctor or ask during your next visit.
  1. Ankylosing Spondylitis
  2. Back Pain
  3. Behcet's Disease
  4. Bursitis, Tendinitis, and Other Soft Tissue Rheumatic Syndromes
  5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  6. CPPD Deposition Disease
  7. Diabetes Basics
  8. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  9. Fibromyalgia
  10. Gout
  11. Infectious Arthritis
  12. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  13. Juvenile Arthritis
  14. Lupus Erythematosus
  15. Lyme disease
  16. Marfan Syndrome
  17. Myositis
  18. Osteoarthritis
  19. Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  20. Osteonecrosis
  21. Osteoporosis
  22. Paget's Disease
  23. Polyarteritis
  24. Polymyalgia Rheumatica
  25. Psoriatic Arthritis
  26. Raynaud's Phenomenon
  27. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome
  28. Reiter's Syndrome
  29. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  30. Scleroderma
  31. Sjogren's Syndrome
Living with Arthritis

Almost all people who have arthritis find that it affects their lives in some way. It can affect their everyday activities, their jobs, their financial resources or their relationships with family and friends.

Arthritis is not easy to live with, but there is much you can do to change, overcome, or cope with the problems it presents. Your doctor and other members of your health care team can recommend medications, special exercises, joint protection techniques and devices, and other self-care activities. Keeping a positive attitude is also important. A positive attitude will let you see solutions to your problems in a better light. 

  1. College and Arthritis
  2. Diet and Arthritis
  3. Exercise and Arthritis
  4. Exercise Movies
  5. Families and arthritis
  6. Fatigue
  7. Frequently Asked Questions about Living with Arthritis
  8. Lab Tests
  9. Managing Arthritis Pain
  10. Pregnancy and Arthritis
  11. Research on Arthritis
  12. Sex and Arthritis
  13. Stress and Arthritis
  14. Travel and Arthritis
  15. Unproven Remedies for Arthritis
  16. Using Joints Wisely
  17. Vocational Rehabilitation
  18. Water Exercises
  19. Work and Arthritis
  20. Working with Your Doctor
Medications for Arthritis

This section provides an overview of some of the medications used to treat arthritis. It provides general information only and does not replace specific information given to you by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Be sure to consult one of them if you have questions.
  1. Aspirin and Related Drugs (NSAIDs)
  2. Corticosteroids for Arthritis
  3. Cytotoxic Drugs
  4. Frequently Asked Questions about Arthritis Medications
  5. Gold Treatment
  6. Methotrexate
Surgery for Arthritis

Arthritis is usually a chronic condition and sometimes can lead to disability. However, there are many ways you and your doctor can lessen these problems. One of the ways may be surgery. Joint surgery can offer several benefits: 

Relief of pain is the most important benefit of joint surgery. Many people with arthritis have constant pain. Some of this pain can be relieved by rest, heat and cold treatments, exercise, splints, and medication. When these therapies don't lessen the pain, surgery may be considered.
 
Improved movement and use of a joint are also important benefits of joint surgery. Continuous inflammation and the wearing away of bone and cartilage can cause joints, tendons, and ligaments to become damaged or pulled out of place. Losing the use of a joint, such as a hip, knee, hand, elbow or shoulder, can seriously hamper a person's activities. When this happens, surgery to replace or stabilize the joint may be suggested.
An improvement in the appearance of deformed joints, especially in the hand, can be expected with some types of surgery.
To learn more about surgery for arthritis, try reading the Basics of Surgery for Arthritis article, or read through the list on the left to find an article about surgery for a specific area of the body.

  1. Basics of Surgery for Arthritis
  2. Hand Surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  3. Knee Surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  4. Spine Surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  5. Total Knee Replacement: A Patient's Guide
  6. Total shoulder joint replacement for shoulder arthritis: Surgery with a dependable, time-tested conservative prosthesis and accelerated rehabilitation can lessen pain and improve function in shoulders with arthritis
  7. Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty: A Patient's Guide to Partial Knee Replacement using Minimally-Invasive Surgery (MIS) Techniques
  8. What is Hip Replacement? A Review of Total Hip Arthroplasty, Hip Resurfacing, and Minimally-Invasive Hip Surgery

Technical Information

This section includes articles about arthritis topics aimed at medical professionals. Some of the articles are continuing medical education (CME) materials.

The Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission requires each currently licensed physician to obtain 200 hours of continuing medical education (CME) within four years prior to the reporting year. The University of Washington aims to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians and other practitioners. Several online courses can be viewed at no charge at the UW CME web site. You are welcome to learn from them on an informal basis.

The four CME articles listed here are provided by the University of Washington Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine for anyone who would like to learn from them.

  1. Continuing Medical Education: Polymyalgia Rheumatica
  2. Continuing Medical Education: Spondyloarthropathies
  3. Continuing Medical Education: Synovitis
  4. Continuing Medical Education: Understanding Osteoarthritis
  5. Technical Information: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Fibromyalgia