Achilles Tendon

The tendon that connects the two large muscles of the calf to the heel. Named after the warrior of Greek… Read More

ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four main ligaments that stabilize the human knee. The ACL, located in… Read More

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is thought to restore this balance. It’s a form of stimulation that increases blood flow and endorphin levels, the body’s natural painkillers. Read More

ADA

Americans with Disabilities Act — a law that protects the civil rights of individuals with disabilities, guaranteeing them equal opportunity… Read More

Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive Capsulitis is a condition also known as “frozen shoulder,” characterized by gradual, painful restriction of movement in the shoulder. Read More

Analgesics

Drugs designed to relieve pain. Analgesics, which are often used to manage pain in people with arthritis, are generally classified… Read More

Anesthesia

Treatment that dulls or blocks normal sensation, including pain, and that is usually given before a surgical procedure. There are… Read More

Anti-CCP Antibody

Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody, a protein produced as part of the process that leads to joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis… Read More

Antibodies

Proteins made by the B cells of the immune system, which recognize and neutralize foreign invaders such as bacteria and… Read More

Anticoagulants

Medicines used to prevent and treat blood clots. Sometimes known as “blood thinners,” anticoagulants are given for a variety of… Read More

Antidepressants

Medicines used to treat clinical depression but that also may have beneficial effects when used to treat the chronic pain… Read More

Antinuclear Antibodies

Proteins in the blood of some people with autoimmune conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus). Testing the… Read More

Antioxidants

Substances that protect against free radicals, molecules occurring naturally in the body that can damage healthy cells. Some antioxidants are… Read More

Assistive Devices

Assistive devices can make life easier for people with arthritis or related conditions. Speak with your arthritis health-care team about… Read More

B Cells

Cells in the immune system that help to kick off an immune response. Ordinarily, the immune system clears out damaged… Read More

Baker’s Cyst

A pocket of fluid that develops behind the knee — also known as a popliteal cyst. In a Baker’s cyst,… Read More

Biofeedback

A process of giving a person auditory or visual clues about such physiologic functions as blood pressure, skin temperature, and… Read More

Body-mass Index

Body-mass index (BMI) is a measure of weight divided by height. Adults who have a BMI of 25 to 29.9… Read More

Bone

The living tissue that makes up the human skeleton. Each of the skeleton’s more than 200 bones is composed of… Read More

Bone Remodeling

The process of bone formation and breakdown that occurs continuously in the body. Bone remodeling involves two simultaneous processes. In… Read More

Boswellia Serrata

A plant, extracts of which are sometimes used to treat arthritis symptoms. Boswellia serrata is used in traditional Indian medicine… Read More

Cachexia

A condition characterized by muscle wasting, fatigue, weakness, and sometimes weight loss that is associated with certain serious inflammatory conditions,… Read More

Cartilage

The hard, smooth, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they meet to form a joint. Cartilage allows… Read More

Cervical Spine

The uppermost part of the spine. The cervical spine is made up of seven individual bones called vertebrae, separated by… Read More

Chondroitin

A major constituent of human cartilage that is believed to contribute to cartilage’s elasticity and resilience. Chondroitin is also available… Read More

Colonoscopy

A procedure for visualizing the inside of the rectum and colon using a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light… Read More

Contraindication

A factor that makes it inadvisable to use a drug, procedure, or other type of treatment in a given individual.… Read More

Contrast Baths

A form of physical therapy, in which a painful limb or extremity is immersed into warm water and cold water.… Read More

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids, including cortisone, hydrocortisone and prednisone, suppress inflammation and the immune response; they are used to treat many conditions. Read More

Cystitis

Inflammation of the bladder. Cystitis is most commonly caused by bacteria that enter through the urethra and infect the bladder,… Read More

Cytokines

The body’s chemical messengers, which various cells use to communicate with each other. The cytokines known as tumor necrosis factor… Read More

Discoid Lupus

A condition characterized by skin rashes and lesions, often located on the face, ears, and scalp, but does not affect the joints.

Read More

Diverticulitis

A condition in which small pouches called diverticuli form within the bowel wall and become inflamed. This can cause abdominal… Read More

DMARDs for Treating RA

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, a class of medicines commonly used to treat types of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA),… Read More

Endorphins

Chemicals in the brain that reduce feelings of pain and increase feelings of well-being. Endorphins are produced by the pituitary… Read More

Felty Syndrome

A rare complication of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) characterized by an enlarged spleen and a low white blood cell count. Because… Read More

Fibromyalgia

A chronic condition characterized by pain all over the body. An estimated 5 million Americans over the age of 18… Read More

Flare

A flare is a sudden intensification of an inflammatory disease process, such as in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In RA, flares… Read More

Giant Cell Arteritis

An inflammatory disorder of the blood vessels in the head that can produce a persisting headache and flu-like symptoms. Because… Read More

Glucosamine

A substance found naturally in healthy cartilage. Evidence from some studies suggests that supplements containing glucosamine may help relieve the… Read More

Grip Strength

The measured ability to exert pressure with the hands and fingers. Many kinds of arthritis can cause a loss in… Read More

Homeopathy

A form of alternative medicine that involves administering very small amounts of a substance that in normal doses would produce… Read More

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia is a greater-than-normal concentration of glucose in the blood, which is a hallmark of diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the… Read More

Hyperuricemia

A condition marked by an excess of uric acid in the body. It can set the stage for gout. Uric… Read More

Hypnosis

A state of deep relaxation and focus in which a person is particularly responsive to suggestion. A person trained in… Read More

Immune System

A system of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body against “foreign” invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and cancerous cells. Read More

Inflammation

The body’s natural protective response to injury or infection. When the body’s immune system detects an injury or infection, it… Read More

Iyengar Yoga

A branch of yoga developed by B.K.S. Iyengar that uses various poses, or asanas, to align the physical body as… Read More

Joint Count

A joint count assesses the number of swollen or tender joints in the a patient’s body. Physicians use this count… Read More

Joint Reconstruction

Joint reconstruction involves rebuilding the architecture of a joint to restore its proper function and to reduce a patient’s pain.… Read More

Joints

Any of several types of connections between bones. Joints are classified as fixed, cartilaginous, or synovial according to their structure… Read More

Lumbar Spine

The part of the spine that is in the lower back. The lumbar spine supports most of the body’s weight.… Read More

Medical Food

According to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Orphan Drug Act, a “medical food” is one that is “formulated to… Read More

Morning Stiffness

Physicians define morning stiffness as a lack of joint mobility that some patients experience upon awakening in the morning. It… Read More

Neuropathy

Damage or disease of the nerves. The most common form of neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, which affects more than 20 million Americans. Read More

Neurotransmitters

Chemicals involved in the transmission of signals from nerve cells to other nerve cells or other types of cells. Nerve… Read More

Obesity

A condition in which a person’s weight is much greater than what is considered healthy for his or her height.… Read More

Opioids

Powerful pain medicines that are either derived from opium or are chemically similar to opium. Most people are familiar with… Read More

Palindromic Rheumatism

Arthritis characterized by recurring and relatively brief periods of pain and swelling in one or more joints. Typically, symptoms of… Read More

Paraffin Bath

A form of heat therapy used to treat joint and muscle pain from arthritis. Special tubs are used to warm… Read More

Placebo

An inactive substance—such as sugar, distilled water, or saline solution—that physicians use either to test a given therapy or to… Read More

Prolotherapy

A complementary medical approach for treating many types of musculoskeletal pain that involves injecting substances that promote tissue proliferation into… Read More

Proprioception

The awareness of the position and movement of one’s own body. One can think of proprioception as a feedback mechanism:… Read More

Prostaglandins

Hormone-like substances produced by nearly every tissue of the body that play a powerful role in inflammation. In the 1970’s,… Read More

Psoriatic Arthritis

Arthritis that accompanies the skin disease psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation and thick scaling of the… Read More

Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a medical condition in which the blood vessels, especially the fingers and toes, narrow in response to cold or psychological stress. Read More

Reactive Arthritis

Arthritis that is caused by the body’s response to an infection. (Reactive arthritis is sometimes referred to as Reiter syndrome.)… Read More

Refractory RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that doesn’t respond adequately to conventional therapy. The definition of “refractory” RA has changed in recent years.… Read More

Remission

The partial or complete disappearance of the symptoms and clinical signs of a progressive or malignant disease. Remission my occur on its own or may be the result of treatment. Read More

Restless Leg Syndrome

A neurological condition in which the legs are afflicted with a throbbing, pulling or creeping sensation and an overwhelming urge… Read More

Risk

The likelihood of a given unwanted event, such as an accident, the development of a disease, or the occurrence of… Read More

Self-Efficacy

An individual’s confidence in his or her ability to complete a task, achieve a goal, or solve a problem. One… Read More

Septic Arthritis

Joint inflammation resulting from bacterial or fungal infection. Septic arthritis most commonly affects joints in the arms and legs, often… Read More

Serotonin

A neurotransmitter (a type of chemical that nerve cells use to communicate with one other) that appears to be involved… Read More

Sjögren’s Syndrome

An autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s moisture-producing glands, causing inflammation that stops them from working… Read More

Spinal Stenosis

A narrowing of the spine that puts pressure on the spinal cord and causes pain. Spinal stenosis usually affects people… Read More

Stickler Syndrome

A group of inherited disorders of the connective tissue characterized by nearsightedness and other vision problems, a flattened facial structure,… Read More

Still Disease

A rare form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) characterized by a high fever, a salmon-colored rash, and joint pain and… Read More

Strength Training

Exercise aimed at increasing muscle strength. Strength training can help people with arthritis to reduce joint pain, improve balance and… Read More

Synovium

The cells within the synovium produce synovial fluid, a transparent, viscous fluid that lubricates and nourishes cartilage and bone in the joint capsule. Read More

TMJ

An abbreviation for the temporomandibular joints, which connect the lower jaw (or mandible) to the temporal bones at each side… Read More

Trigeminal Neuralgia

A chronic pain condition affecting the trigeminal nerve of the cranium. Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) can produce a variety of headache… Read More

Ulcer

A crater-like sore in tissue, most commonly referring to such a sore in the stomach or upper part of the… Read More

Urinalysis

Examination of the urine for the purpose of diagnosing or monitoring a medical condition. Urinalysis can help uncover conditions such… Read More

Visceral Fat

The fat that surrounds the body’s internal organs. Excess visceral fat has been shown to increase the risk of Type… Read More

Weight-bearing Exercise

In weight-bearing exercise, the body remains upright and works against gravity, which strengthens the bones and helps guard against osteoporosis,… Read More

X-Ray

A type of radiation that is used to create images of the inside of the body. The various tissues throughout… Read More

Yoga

An ancient Indian practice thought to help maintain health and improve focus and spirituality. The word yoga is Sanskrit for… Read More