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Helping Patients With Arthritis

Studies show that an estimated 18 percent of Americans who have arthritis or other rheumatic conditions believe that their condition limits their activities. People with arthritis may find that they can no longer participate in some of their favorite activities, which can affect their overall well-being. Even when arthritis impairs only one joint, a person may have to change many daily activities to protect that joint from further damage and reduce pain. When arthritis affects the entire body, as it does in people with rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia, many daily activities have to be changed to deal with pain, fatigue, and other symptoms.

Changes in the home may help a person with chronic arthritis continue to live safely, productively, and with less pain. People with arthritis may become weak, lose their balance, or fall in the bathroom. Installing grab bars in the tub or shower and by the toilet, placing a secure seat in the tub, and raising the height of the toilet seat can help. Special kitchen utensils can accommodate arthritic hands to make meal preparation easier. An occupational therapist can help people who have rheumatic conditions identify and make adjustments in their homes to create a safer, less painful, and more efficient environment.

Friends and family can help a patient with a rheumatic condition by learning about that condition and understanding how it affects the patientís life. Friends and family can provide emotional and physical assistance. Their support, as well as support from other people who have the same disease, can make it easier to cope. The Arthritis Foundation and many other organizations have a wealth of information to help people with arthritis. See our page For More Info to obtain contact information for these organizations.


Information and definitions of the medical conditions and diseases have been taken from various reliable government publications and we have done our best to verify their accuracy. If you feel any of the definitions are incorrect or needs to be updated please contact us and we will look into it.

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