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
- 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
- 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)
- Biological and structural markers (biomarkers) for osteoarthritis.