Osteoarthritis (cont.)

How can self-care and a "good-health attitude" help?

Three kinds of programs help people learn about osteoarthritis and self-care and improve their good-health attitude:

  • Patient education programs


  • Arthritis self-management programs


  • Arthritis support groups.

These programs teach people about osteoarthritis and its treatments. They also have clear and long-lasting benefits. People in these programs learn to:

  • Exercise and relax


  • Talk with their doctor or other health-care providers


  • Solve problems.

People with osteoarthritis find that self-management programs help them:

  • Understand the disease


  • Reduce pain while staying active


  • Cope with their body, mind, and emotions


  • Have more control over the disease


  • Live an active, independent life.

People with a good-health attitude:

  • Focus on what they can do, not what they can't do


  • Focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses


  • Break down activities into small tasks that are easy to manage


  • Build fitness and healthy eating into their daily routines


  • Develop ways to lower and manage stress


  • Balance rest with activity


  • Develop a support system of family, friends, and health-care providers.

What research is being done on osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is not simply a disease of "wear and tear" that happens in joints as people get older. There is more to the disease than aging alone. Researchers are studying:

  • Tools to detect osteoarthritis earlier


  • Genes


  • Tissue engineering


  • A wide range of treatment strategies


  • Osteoarthritis in animals


  • Medicines to prevent joint damage


  • Complementary and alternative therapies


  • Vitamins and other supplements


  • Injection of hyaluronic acid (a natural part of cartilage and joint fluid)


  • Estrogen


  • Biological and structural markers (biomarkers) for osteoarthritis.


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