Help for Arthritis Sufferers

Arthritis affects over 40 million Americans of all ages and walks of life and is the number one cause of disability in America. Not just a disease of grandparents, arthritis affects children and adults alike. There are over 100 types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

If the names of the conditions sound daunting, consider the possible treatment options. Celebrex, Vioxx, glucosamine, chondroitin, Dr. Theodasakis, copper bracelets, ibubrofen -- all of these are terms that you may encounter when you search for information on managing your condition.

If you're in pain, we encourage you to consult your family physician without delay. If you receive a diagnosis of arthritis, you might visit the public library and the Internet to learn more about this debilitating disease. The Arthritis Foundation offers online quizzes to help you assess your joint health. Their Pain Center recommends that each person have a pain management plan which you can create online.

To learn more about the basics of condition and ways to lessen its symptoms with diet, exercise, and other treatments, we recommend the following books and videos from our collection as well as these carefully selected Web sites:

In the Library

Alternative Answers to Arthritis & Rheumatism by Anne Charlish.
Find information on both mainstream and alternative therapies to treat arthritis and minimize pain. Also learn about helpful gadgets and exercises, color therapy, t'ai chi, and visualization.

Arthritis 101: Questions You Have, Answers You Need by Arthritis Foundation.
This official publication of The Arthritis Foundation, written in easy to understand language, presents ways to recognize arthritis, ways to control pain and inflammation, what to expect from medications, and what is new in research. The illustrated exercises are especially helpful.

Arthritis: 227 Things Everyone Should Know by Wendy Reed Bruce.
Learn about the categories of arthritis, pain management, personal care, how to cope in the home, garden, and the world, children and pregnancy, and eating for wellness. Discover what questions to ask about medications, ways to reduce medication costs, ways to fight fatigue, range of motion exercises, and foods to avoid.

The Arthritis Cure: the Medical Miracle That Can Halt, Reverse, and May Even Cure Osteoarthritis by Jason Theodosakis.
Read this book to learn how Dr. Theodosakis greatly reduced the pain he suffered from osteoarthritis and even reversed some of the damage. He provides information on supplements, exercise, and diet.

Coping with Osteoarthritis by Robert H. Phillips.
Learn how to manage lifestyle changes, your emotions, and social interactions. Patients and their families can learn practical suggestions that range from how to understand prescriptions to maintaining independent living. Both those afflicted with arthritis and their loved ones can benefit immensely from the information provided.

Conquering Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Latest Breakthroughs and Treatments by Thomas F. Lee.
Written from the viewpoint of a researcher who was diagnosed with RA in 1995, Dr. Lee searches for genetic indicators, new medicines, and clinical trials.

Good Living with Fibromyalgia from the Arthritis Foundation
"This book shows the more than three million people with fibromyalgia ways to lessen pain, sleep better and thrive every day."
(From the publisher's description)

Good Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis from the Arthritis Foundation
"...a comprehensive, clear look at the diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of rheumatoid arthritis."
(From the publisher's description)

Mayo Clinic on Arthritis by Gene G. Hunder.
This book focuses on osteoarthritis. Read about effective treatments, self-care for pain and stiffness, tips to counter fatigue, easier cooking methods, and good exercises. The chapters on traveling and work provide some very helpful tips.

Raising a Child with Arthritis: A Parents Guide by The Arthritis Foundation.
This book contains a primer on juvenile arthritis and discusses treatment goals and strategies. Learn how to help your child follow a prescribed medical treatment program, adjust emotionally and socially, and grow up with arthritis.


The Arthritic's Cookbook by Collin H. Dong and Jane Banks.
Choose from more than two hundred recipes. Also consult the dietary guide that contains lists of foods to eat and to avoid.

The Essential Arthritis Cookbook: Kitchen Basics by Sarah L. Morgan.
This cookbook contains tips on basic nutrition, kitchen basics, and menu planning. It also contains several recipes. The appendices are especially helpful. Appendix A provides suggestions on how to make eating easier when it is difficult to eat because of medical conditions. Appendix B explains how to obtain a balanced meal from convenience foods.

How to Eat Away Arthritis by Lauri M. Aesoph.
Aesoph, a naturopathic physician and medical writer, provides natural dietary information that may reverse and improve arthritis and other auto-immune diseases. Please note the information she provides on allergy, stressor, and restorative foods.


Arthritis: What Exercises Work by Dava Sobel, Arthur C. Klein, and John Bland.
Create your own individualized exercise program. This book describes, explains, and diagrams exercises for each part of the body. Choose from the activity level rated exercises. Doctors, physical therapists, exercise instructors, and patients can all benefit.

Strong Women and Men Beat Arthritis: The Scientifically Proven Program That Allows People with Arthritis to Take Charge of Their Disease by Miriam E. Nelson.
This sixteen-week exercise program starts with a half hour daily of core exercises. Add additional exercises after the first month. Also change your diet to include more water, fruits, and vegetables.

Tai Chi for Arthritis by Paul Lam.
This video demonstrates twelve movements of Sun style (commencing form, opening and closing hands, single whip, wave hands, opening and closing hands, brush knee, playing the lute, parry and punch, repulse monkey, push the mountain, opening and closing hands, close). The tape also includes qigong breathing exercises and stretching.

Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide
Offers "people with arthritis a tremendous opportunity to ease joint pain with yoga poses scientifically linked to increased flexibility and healthy cartilage.Beginning with background chapters on the physiology of arthritis and the practice of yoga, the book takes readers step by step through the postures that can make their joints feel better."
(Publisher's description)


Arthritis Today.
Each issue of the Arthritis Foundation periodical provides information on medications, alternative treatments, the latest research, exercise, and stress relief.
Individual copies may be reserved for check out.

Arthritis Research & Therapy.
This online and print journal provides the arthritis research community with updates on Phase I and II clinical trial studies related to the rationale and treatment of arthritis, autoimmune disease and diseases of bone and cartilage. Some articles are freely available on the site; some require a subscription. If an article interests you that is subscription only, contact one of our librarians to see if the article may be borrowed through our interlibrary loan program.

On the Web

AAOS Online Service Patient Education Brochures Arthritis
This site has a good overview of arthritis and links to various fact sheets.

All About Arthritis
A comprehensive guide to arthritis and its treatment. It offers news and suggestions on pain management.

American College of Rheumatology
Geared to professionals, this Web site also contains clinical trials and registries as well as fact sheets that may be of interest to patients.

Arthritis Foundation Home Page
The Web site of a voluntary health agency that covers all forms of arthritis and related conditions. This site contains research news, discussion boards, helpful products, frequently asked questions, and walking guides.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin
Affiliated with the National Institute of Health, this site contains information on health topics, research, studies, and outreach.