Your Move: Educate Yourself

One of the best kinds of self-care is to stay informed and up to date on the most current health and wellness treatments and guidelines for your arthritis.

Local arthritis or pain management support groups can provide information and introduce you to like-minded people going through the same experiences you are. Many national organizations offer support and guidance, as well, in addition to the research they perform in the field in order to make life easier for those living with arthritis.

• The first place to start is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their website offers descriptions of the various kinds of arthritis, along with management suggestions, information on state-funded programs, and research concerning the effects of arthritis on specific groups, including veterans. (cdc.gov/arthritis)

• Next, check out the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institute of Health (NIH). There you’ll find information about research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and other musculoskeletal and skin diseases. The website posts the results of numerous studies, and offers you the chance to become part of a study, as well. (niams.nih.gov)

• The Cleveland Clinic is always updating its blog and resources with interesting information about dealing with arthritis pain. Its website breaks information down into various sections, such as arthritis of the hand and wrist, and provides options for treatment, therapy, exercises, and medication. (my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Arthritis/hic_Arthritis_Resources)

• The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center offers a wealth of information about arthritis research, as well as resources for both patients and physicians. If you’re in the Baltimore area you can schedule an appointment in person, but those outside of Maryland will benefit from the hospital’s website (hopkinsarthritis.org), which includes in-depth educational videos, advice for managing pain through rehabilitation and nutrition, and regularly updated news from the field.

• If a child in your family has been diagnosed with arthritis, there’s no better place to turn to than The Hospital for Sick Children, which has plenty of information about the various forms of arthritis that affect children and adolescents. With material on coping with and diagnosing juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) to a teenager’s guide to enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA), the website (aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/ConditionsandDiseases/InflammatoryConditions/Pages/ArthritisHome.aspx) offers thoughtful, extensive information specifically tailored toward children and their parents.

This column was written by Meredith Quinn, an associate editor at Arthritis Self-Management.

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