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Take charge of Your Joints. Tips for Living with Arthritis. What is Arthritis?. Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder of the joints that may produce pain swelling and deformity. . Articular Cartilage Damage. Joint. Synovium. Worn Meniscus. Inflammation . What Is Arthritis?.

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take charge of your joints

Take charge of Your Joints

Tips for Living with Arthritis

what is arthritis
What is Arthritis?
  • Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder of the joints that may produce pain swelling and deformity.

Articular Cartilage Damage



Worn Meniscus


what is arthritis1
What Is Arthritis?
  • Inflammation is a natural reaction to injury.
  • It causes swelling, pain, and redness and decreases motion in the affected area.

Articular Cartilage Damage



Worn Meniscus


forms of arthritis
Forms of Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis causes inflammation (swelling) of the lining of the joint tissue, leading to deformity.
  • It often affects the same joints on both sides of the body (hands, wrists, feet, knees, ankles, shoulders, and elbows).
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is more common in women than in men.
forms of arthritis1
Forms of Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Arthritis) is a breakdown of the cushioning tissue, called cartilage, in joints.
  • The breakdown of cartilage in the joints causes pain and swelling.
  • It is the most common form of arthritis.
  • The disease affects the fingers, knees, feet, hips and back.
  • Men and women over the age of 45 suffer most from this ailment.
forms of arthritis2
Forms of Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects muscles and their attachments to bone.
  • It is characterized by widespread pain and tender points on the body.
  • Side effects of Fibromyalgia are fatigue, disturbed sleep, stiffness and psychological distress.
  • Women are the most susceptible to Fibromyalgia.
forms of arthritis3
Forms of Arthritis
  • Gout is a rheumatic disease causing sudden, severe episodes of pain and tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling in the joints.
  • It is a result of when the body produces too much uric acid and is unable to dispose of the substance.
  • Access uric acid forms needle-like crystals in the joints of toes, ankles and knees that cause sever pain and swelling.
forms of arthritis4
Forms of Arthritis
  • Lupus is a rheumatic disease that can affect skin, joints and internal organs such as the kidneys, lungs and heart.
    • Lupus affects women most often between the ages of 18 and 45.
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis produces serious complications in severe cases or causes a few problems in very mild cases.
    • JRA appears between the ages of 6 months and 16 years. The first signs often are joint pain or swelling and reddened or warm joints.
warning signs of arthritis
Warning Signs of Arthritis
  • Swelling in one or more joints.
  • Morning stiffness lasting 30 minutes or longer
  • Persistent joint pain or tenderness.
  • Inability to move a joint in the normal way.
  • Redness or warmth in a joint.
  • Weight loss, fever, or weakness and joint pain that cannot be explained.
who develops arthritis
Who Develops Arthritis?
  • Over 46 million adult Americans have arthritis.
  • 1.5 million adult Tennesseans have arthritis.
  • 45% of Tennesseans diagnosed with arthritis are under 55 years of age.
  • Arthritis affects people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  • By 2030, it is projected that 67 million Americans will have arthritis.
  • Arthritis affects one in every 250 children.
what type do you have
What Type do you Have?

Your physician can perform the following

examinations to determine your type of arthritis:

  • The doctor will examine your medical history.
  • Gather current and past symptoms.
  • Conduct a physical examination, x-rays and blood work.
treatment options
Treatment Options

Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

  • Medications can reduce pain in the joints
  • Physical therapy to help you perform daily activities
  • Heat and cold therapies and ease pain and stiffness by relaxing muscles
  • Exercise
  • Weight reduction
  • Surgery to repair damaged joints
methods of pain control
Methods of Pain Control
  • Get adequate sleep each night
  • Balance physical activity with rest
  • Take medications (prescribed or over-the-counter) as recommended by your doctor.
  • Exercise to keep joint moving, reduce pain and stiffness, improve mood and attitude, and increase your energy level.
  • Break activities down into smaller tasks that you can manage.
methods of pain control1
Methods of Pain Control
  • Keep a daily diary of pain and mood changes.
  • Use assistive devices when needed (ergonomic tools).
  • Use the palm of your hands instead of your fingers.
  • Use extra thick pens and large handled cooking utensils.
combat arthritis with exercise
Combat Arthritis With Exercise

Exercise has been proven to :

  • Minimize loss of function
  • Increase mobility
  • Reduce pain
  • Promote weight loss
  • Increase muscle mass
combat arthritis with exercise1
Combat Arthritis With Exercise

Exercise has been proven to :

  • Increase balance
  • Reduce stiffness
  • Increase flexibility
  • Increase body strength
  • Build self-confidence
  • Reduce depression
learn about arthritis care and treatment
Learn about Arthritis Care and Treatment

Arthritis Management Programs

  • Arthritis Self-Help Program
  • Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program
  • Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program
arthritis self help program
Arthritis Self-Help Program
  • The Self-Help program teaches diagnosed individuals about arthritis and pain management techniques.
  • The program is led by UT Extension Educators certified by the Arthritis Foundation.
  • The program consists of six sessions. Each session is 2 hours in length.
arthritis foundation exercise program
Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program
  • The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is a 60-minute class held twice a week.
  • It is designed to improve endurance and joint motion.
  • The low-impact program offers 2 types of classes – Basic and Advanced.
  • The program is led by UT Extension Educators certified by the Arthritis Foundation.
arthritis foundation tai chi program
Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program
  • Tai Chi is led by Extension Educators certified by the Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Instructor program.
  • The Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program is a 60-minute class held twice a week.
  • Tai Chi is a gentle form of exercise that utilizes the entire body and is suitable for almost anyone.
keep a positive attitude
Keep A Positive Attitude
  • Arthritis can make you feel angry, sad, depressed and resentful.
  • Negative feelings can increase your pain.
  • Share your feelings with your doctor, family and support group.
  • Learn all you can about arthritis and practice daily self-care techniques.
keep a positive attitude1
Keep A Positive Attitude

Tips for staying positive:

  • Find pleasure in the simple things
  • Distract your pain
  • Take care of yourself
  • Make a conscious effort to be positive
  • Communicate your feelings with others
  • Keep a pain journal
keep a positive attitude2
Keep A Positive Attitude

You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and latch on to the affirmative!

-Johnny Mercer

Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.

-William James


For more information about arthritis or the arthritis education program available in your area contact:

The Arthritis Foundation


The University of Tennessee Extension


Jessica E. Taylor, MPHCommunity Health SpecialistArthritis Education Program CoordinatorFamily & Consumer Sciences218-C Morgan Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-4501Telephone: (865) 974-7393 Email: jtaylo22@utk.edu