Do I have Arthritis?
Gout, in which crystals build up in the joints. It
usually affects the big toe.
Lupus (LOOP-us), in which the body's defense system
can harm the joints, the heart, the skin, the kidneys, and other
Viral hepatitis (VY-rul HEP-ah-TY-tis), in which an
infection of the liver can cause arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis can make it hard to hold a
pencil or a brush.
Have a fever.
Have trouble breathing.
Get a rash or itch.
These symptoms may also be signs of other illnesses.
Having stiffness or pain when you move could be a
sign of arthritis.
If you still hurt after using your medicine correctly
and doing one or more of these things, call your doctor. Another kind
of medicine might work better for you. Some people can also benefit
from surgery, such as joint replacement.
Using an ice pack on a sore joint can help
Try to keep your weight down. Too much weight can make
your knees and hips hurt.
Exercise. Moving all of your joints will help you. The
doctor or nurse can show you how to move more easily. Going for a
walk every day will help, too.
Take your medicines when and how you are supposed to.
They can help reduce pain and stiffness.
Try taking a warm shower in the morning.
See your doctor regularly.
Seek information that can help you.
Keeping active may help reduce the stiffness in
Do You Have Arthritis or a Related
You may be able to help scientists learn more about
For information about research projects near your
home, call the
NIAMS Information Clearinghouse
You could make a difference!
This booklet is not copyrighted. You can make copies of it
and give out as many as you want.
For more copies, contact
National Institute of Arthritis and
and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Information
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
You can find this booklet on the NIAMS Web site at http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/index.htm.
This site also has much more information on arthritis and other bone,
joint, and skin problems.
The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis
and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) is to support
research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis
and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and
clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the
dissemination of information on research progress in these
diseases. The NIAMS Information Clearinghouse is a public service
sponsored by the NIAMS that provides health information and
information sources. Additional information and research updates
can be found on the NIAMS Web site at http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/index.htm.
This booklet is provided by the National Institute of
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in cooperation with the
Arthritis Foundation (Fundación Para La Artritis).