Medical Assistant: Understanding Arthritis
Arthritis is a common medical condition characterized by the inflammation of one or more joints. Researchers have identified over one hundred forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, still’s disease, gout, pseudo-gout, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, and reactive arthritis. Arthritis sufferers complain about joint pain, often caused by inflammation around the affected area, damage caused to the joint from disease, daily wear and tear to the joint, and muscles strains due to forced involuntary movement. In addition, they suffer from various signs and symptoms, such as the inability to move their hands or walk, malaise, weight loss, fever, poor sleep, tenderness, muscle aches, muscle weakness, inflexibility, and decreased desire to exercise.
Statistically, arthritis has been the main cause of disability within the United States. In fact, more than twenty million arthritis sufferers have severe limitations to their physical bodily functions on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many arthritis sufferers become physically inactive and confounded to live at home, which can cause them to become obese, become vulnerable to heart disease, and develop high cholesterol levels. Approximately one million hospitalizations and forty five million outpatient visits occur each year for arthritis patients.
Arthritis sufferers must undergo several treatment options to help cope with the symptoms of the medical condition. Physicians may order arthritis sufferers to attend physical therapy sessions, make lifestyle changes, wear orthopedic bracing, and take route medications. Severe arthritis cases may call for joint replacement surgery. Medications primarily serve in reducing the inflammation in the joint, which decreases the overall pain. In addition, medications also serve to slow down joint damage.
Follow these links to learn more about arthritis:
- PubMED Health: All About Arthritis: The A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia describes the medial condition that afflicts individuals with inflammation of one or more joints in the human body.
- The Arthritis Foundation: A nonprofit organization that serves in the discovery of medical research for those suffering from arthritis.
- WebMD: Arthritis Center: The WebMD Health informational center provides articles, discussions, blogs, and forums for individuals interested in learning more about arthritis.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Arthritis: The CDC provides informational databases on arthritis, including data and statistics, state programs, interventions, policy and partnerships, funded science, publications, resources, and press releases.
- The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Arthritis: The AAOS shares general and specific information on the topic of arthritis, especially related to the feet, hips, shoulders, arms, elbows, hands, and knees.
- Plain Talk About Arthritis and Key Words (PDF): A medical glossary that addresses terminology associated with arthritis.
- Arthritis Fact Sheet (PDF): An extensive fact sheet that explains the condition of arthritis, who it affects, and how it can be treated.
- The Hospital for Special Surgery: Rheumatoid Arthritis: A brief overview of rheumatoid arthritis, a systemic inflammatory disease that has manifested center-stage.
- Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale: A score chart that rates an arthritis sufferer’s ability to perform tasks.
- Arthritis (PDF): An authoritative document that provides information on the leading cause of disability in the United States.
- Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis (PDF): The British Dietetic Association describes dietary plans that can help arthritis sufferers cope with their medical condition.
- Reducing the Impact of Arthritis (PDF): A comprehensive fact sheet that explains how exercise can reverse the physical limitations that arthritis imposes on its sufferers.
- Gouty Arthritis (PDF): An educational document that explains the symptoms and treatment for sufferers of gouty arthritis.
- What Is Arthritis? (PDF): A chapter addressing how arthritis affects the human body, the different types of arthritis, the signs and symptoms of the condition, the major causes of arthritis, and who it affects the most.
- Forms of Arthritis (PDF): A factually supported document that describes the most common forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
- Weather-Related Arthritis Symptoms: Medical Fact or Fiction? (PDF): An extensive document that explains the symptoms and signs behind weather-related arthritis symptoms.
- Patient Education: 10 Frequently Asked Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis (PDF): An educational document that answers the top ten frequently asked questions (FAQ) about rheumatoid arthritis.
- Psoriatic Arthritis (PDF): A comprehensive document that explains how to identify signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.
- Living with Arthritis (PDF): A general article that helps patients and their families understand the nature of arthritis.
- Efficacy of Fish Oil Concentrate in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (PDF): A compilation of studies that support fish oil concentrate as a treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis.
- Fresh Cherries May Help Arthritis Sufferers: The United States Department of Agriculture shares discoveries that fresh cherries may help arthritis sufferers cope with their symptoms.
- Arthritis: A National Epidemic: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explains how arthritis has become a national epidemic.
- Green Tea: A Therapeutic Compound for Arthritis?: The University of Michigan shares how a green tea compound may be a therapeutic for arthritis sufferers.
- Weill Cornell Physicians: Arthritis Statistics: A compilation of general arthritis statistics pooled from several governmental agencies.
- MayoClinic: Arthritis Treatment and Drugs: A comprehensive list of arthritis medications and treatment methods.