Achilles Tendon

Achilles Tendon

The Achilles tendon connects the two large muscles of the calf to the heel. The Achilles tendon, also know as heel cord, is the largest tendon in the body… Read More


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


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


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


A condition that results from ingesting alcohol or drugs such as opioid painkillers or engaging in an activity such as… 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

Alcoholic Neuropathy

Damage to the nerves from chronic excessive alcohol consumption. It can cause numbness, tingling, burning, a prickly sensation, muscle spasms… Read More



The experience of pain in response to things that normally are not painful, such as light touching of the skin… Read More


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


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

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation of the vertebrae and sacroiliac joints and sometimes other joints, as well… Read More


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


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


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



Substances that protect against free radicals, molecules occurring naturally in the body that can damage healthy cells. Some antioxidants are found naturally in the body, whereas others must be consumed in food… Read More



Arthroplasty is an orthopedic surgical procedure in which a damaged joint surface is replaced or realigned. Joints can be damaged by various causes… Read More



A procedure in which a thin instrument equipped with a light source and a video camera is inserted through a small incision to allow doctors to examine the inside of joints… 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 assistive devices that might be right for you… Read More

Atopic Dermatitis

A chronic allergic skin condition. Atopic dermatitis typically causes dry and itchy skin and rashes over the face, inside the… Read More



A perceptual disturbance experienced before the onset of some migraine headaches and seizures. Scientists believe that auras are caused by disruptions in the neurotransmitters, the chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another… 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 is a process of giving auditory or visual clues about physiologic functions so that a person can learn to control them through trial and error… 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


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


Inflammation of the bursa, the small, fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between muscles and bones in joint. Bursitis… Read More


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


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


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


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


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

COX 2 Inhibitors

COX-2 Inhibitors

COX-2 inhibitors are a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) designed to block pain and inflammation with less risk of peptic ulcers than other types of NSAIDs… Read More

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy

A form of body work that involves gentle touch aimed at manipulating the synarthrodial joints of the cranium, spine and pelvis… Read More

Crohn’s Disease

Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the GI tract but most commonly… Read More


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


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



A diet that has been scientifically proven to reduce blood pressure. This eating plan is the product of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study, which showed that the plan results in significantly lower blood pressure than the traditional American diet… Read More

Diabetic Neuropathy

An umbrella term for nerve disorders caused by prolonged exposure to high blood glucose levels. Peripheral neuropathy, the most common… 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.

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

Drug Holiday

A temporary withdrawal of biological treatment following remission in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early and aggressive treatment of RA… Read More

Dry Eye Disease

Any condition that can cause the eyes to become dry. Tears, made by the lacrimal glands, bathe the surface of… Read More



Electromyography is a diagnostic technique that involves recording and evaluating electrical activity generated by muscles… Read More


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


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


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


A diet low in carbohydrates called fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs), which are associated with diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating… Read More

Functional Fitness

Functional Fitness

Muscle strength and flexibility needed to work, participate in sports and engage in everyday activities, such as carrying groceries… 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


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

Herniated Disc

A disc between the spinal vertebrae that has become ruptured. These discs serve as cushions between the vertebrae, the bones… Read More


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


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


The presence of too much uric acid in the blood, which can cause gout. Uric acid is a byproduct of… Read More


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



A type of complementary/alternative medicine in which the therapist coaxes the patient into an altered, more suggestible state of mind to try to treat a variety of problems… 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


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


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

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation

A mental practice that involves being fully aware of one’s surroundings, one’s breath and all of the sensations within one’s body… 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



A drug used to treat overdoses of opioid medications. When given to people who have overdosed on opioids, naloxone can save lives. Read More

Nerve Block

An injection of an anesthetic or anti-inflammatory agent to turn off pain signals or inflammation in a specific region of… Read More


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


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



A nerve cell that is stimulated by physical, chemical or thermal insult to body tissues… Read More


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


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



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

Preventive Analgesia

Preventive Analgesia

A strategy for reducing postsurgical pain by treating pain both before and during surgery. It has been shown to reduce pain after surgery and decrease the use of analgesics… Read More


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


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


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



A skin condition causing scaling and inflammation. Psoriasis is caused by a defect in cell turnover, a process in which skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface over the course of a month… Read More

Qi Gong

Qi Gong

A holistic mind-body practice that combines gentle, flowing movement with mental focus, breathing and relaxation. With roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy and martial arts, qi gong translates literally into “life energy cultivation…” 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


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

Restless Leg Syndrome

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


An acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, a standard treatment regimen for tendonitis, bursitis, and injuries like sprained ankles.… Read More


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


A group of conditions that affects the body’s connective tissue, making it hard and thick. Connective tissue such as cartilage… Read More


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


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

Sjögren’s Syndrome

An autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s moisture-producing glands. Sjögren’s syndrome can also cause joint pain and fatigue. 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


A method for immobilizing a limb. Splints typically consist of durable, lightweight plastic held in place by Velcro straps and… 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


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

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that can affect many organs throughout the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain… Read More



Tinnitus is a ringing, roaring, clicking or buzzing sound in one or both ears. It is not a disease, but symptoms of a disruption or defect in the auditory system… Read More


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


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

Ulcerative Colitis

A chronic condition that causes inflammation and ulcers (sores) in the large intestine. Scientists don’t know the exact cause of… Read More


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

Vagus Nerve

Vagus Nerve

The longest nerve of the body’s autonomic nervous system, which regulates automatic body functions such as heartbeat. The vagus nerve is actually a pair of nerves that are essential for speech, swallowing, and the sensation and function of many organs throughout the body… 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


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


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