Resources: Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases

Handout on Health: Osteoarthritis

This booklet is for people who have osteoarthritis, their families, and others interested in learning more about the disorder. The booklet describes osteoarthritis and its symptoms and contains information about diagnosis and treatment, as well as current research efforts supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also discusses pain relief, exercise, and quality of life for people with osteoarthritis. If you have further questions after reading this booklet, you may wish to discuss them with your doctor.

Handout on Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis

This booklet is for people who have rheumatoid arthritis, as well as for their family members, friends, and others who want to find out more about this disease. The booklet describes how rheumatoid arthritis develops, how it is diagnosed, and how it is treated, including what people can do to help manage their disease. It also highlights current research efforts supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and other components of the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you have further questions after reading this booklet, you may wish to discuss them with your doctor.

Handout on Health: Scleroderma

This booklet is for people who have scleroderma, as well as for their family members, friends, and others who want to find out more about the disease. This booklet describes the different forms of scleroderma and provides information on their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, including what patients can do to help manage their disease and the problems associated with it. It also highlights current research efforts into the understanding and treatment of scleroderma, many of which are supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you have further questions after reading this booklet, you may wish to discuss them with your doctor.

Handout on Health: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

This booklet is for people who have systemic lupus erythematosus, commonly called SLE or lupus, as well as for their family and friends and others who want to better understand the disease. The booklet describes the disease and its symptoms and contains information about diagnosis and treatment as well as current research efforts supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and other components of the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also discusses issues such as health care, pregnancy, and quality of life for people with lupus. If you have further questions after reading this booklet, you may wish to discuss them with your doctor.

Questions and Answers About Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases

This fact sheet answers basic questions about arthritis and rheumatic diseases. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has other fact sheets and booklets that provide more information about specific forms of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. NIAMS also has information about exercise and arthritis, pain and arthritis, and diet and arthritis.

Questions and Answers About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points. The word fibromyalgia comes from the Latin term for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek ones for muscle (myo) and pain (algia). Tender points are specific places on the body—on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and upper and lower extremities—where people with fibromyalgia feel pain in response to slight pressure.

Questions and Answers About Gout

This booklet contains general information about gout. It describes what gout is and how it develops. It also explains how gout is diagnosed and treated. If you have further questions after reading this booklet, you may wish to discuss them with your doctor.

Questions and Answers About Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is arthritis that causes joint inflammation and stiffness for more than 6 weeks in a child of 16 years of age or less. Inflammation causes redness, swelling, warmth, and soreness in the joints, although many children with JRA do not complain of joint pain. Any joint can be affected and inflammation may limit the mobility of affected joints. One type of JRA can also affect the internal organs. Doctors classify JRA into three types by the number of joints involved, the symptoms, and the presence or absence of certain antibodies found by a blood test. (Antibodies are special proteins made by the immune system.) These classifications help the doctor determine how the disease will progress and whether the internal organs or skin is affected.

Questions and Answers About Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis

Polymyalgia rheumatica is a rheumatic disorder that is associated with moderate to severe muscle pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulder, and hip area. Stiffness is most noticeable in the morning. This disorder may develop rapidly--in some patients, overnight. In other people, polymyalgia rheumatica develops more gradually. The cause of polymyalgia rheumatica is not known; however, possibilities include immune system abnormalities and genetic factors. The fact that polymyalgia rheumatica is rare in people under the age of 50 suggests it may be linked to the aging process.