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Mayo Clinic Guide to Arthritis

Managing Joint Pain for an Active Life

From the rheumatology experts at Mayo Clinic comes a complete guide on arthritis. This book is filled with proven, science-based research on arthritis and its related conditions, recommended treatment plans for relieving joint stiffness and pain, and essential self-care tips to help you live a life free from debilitating arthritis symptoms.

Each year, more than 50 million Americans suffer from joint inflammation and swelling caused by arthritis. Too many people have first-hand experience with the crippling effects of the disease, effects that can harm one’s ability to work, move, and complete normal tasks in day-to-day life. 

However, knowing more about arthritis can help you move past its impairments. Mayo Clinic Guide to Arthritis combines knowledge from the rheumatology experts at the Mayo Clinic to teach readers about the causes and risks associated with different types of arthritis—like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other back and spine disorders—and how to spot the warning signs of each condition. 

Following the latest developments in arthritis research, the book then highlights different treatment options available for managing the pain, including medications, surgical procedures, physical therapies, and types of integrative medicine. Finally, readers will learn how to live with arthritis and protect their joints while staying active, maintaining a healthy diet, going to work, and even traveling.

With this all-inclusive reference guide from the Mayo Clinic, learn how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, seek professional support, and control and minimize joint inflammation, to relieve arthritic pain once and for all.



Chapter 1: Arthritis — Common and complex                                                                            10

Who gets arthritis? · What causes arthritis? · Types of arthritis · Living in motion


Chapter 2: Osteoarthritis                                                                                                          20

Understanding the condition · Signs and symptoms · Diagnosis and treatment


Chapter 3:  Other noninflammatory musculoskeletal disorders                                                  32

Ankle sprains · Avascular necrosis · Baker’s cyst (popliteal cyst) · Bunion · Bursitis · Dupuytren’s contracture · Meralgia paresthetica · Morton’s neuroma · Osgood-Schlatter disease · Osteoporosis · Patellofemoral pain syndrome · Plantar fasciitis · Shin splints · Stress fracture · Tendinitis · Trigger finger


Chapter 4: Rheumatoid arthritis                                                                                                48

Understanding the condition · Causes · Signs and symptoms · Diagnosis · Treatment · A chronic disease


Chapter 5:  Other inflammatory arthropathies                                                                          64

Spondyloarthritis · Connective tissue disorders · Vasculitis · Polymyalgia rheumatic (PMR) · Crystalline arthritis · Septic (infectious) arthritis and infection-related arthritis · Moving forward


Chapter 6:  Back pain and spine disorders                                                                                 88

Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) · Herniated disk · Cervical spine disorders · Mechanical low back pain · Scheuermann’s (juvenile) kyphosis · Spinal stenosis · Spondylosis and spondylolisthesis


Chapter 7:  Childhood arthritis                                                                                                  100

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis · Spondyloarthropathy · Connective tissue diseases · Vasculitis · Orthopedic conditions · Growing pains


Chapter 8:  Different causes of pain: Peripheral and central pain                                               114

What causes pain? · Peripheral pain · Central pain · Fibromyalgia


Chapter 9:  Evaluation for arthritis and other joint pain                                                             124

Laboratory tests · Procedures · Imaging studies · Specialty evaluations




Chapter 10:  Medications for arthritis                                                                                        138

Different treatment strategies for different diseases

Medication guide: Pain relievers · Corticosteroids · Conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) · Biologic DMARDs · Targeted DMARDs ·


Chapter 11:  Surgical treatments                                                                                               174

Common types of joint surgery · Choosing the right procedure · Things to know before surgery · New lease on life


Chapter 12:  Pain management                                                                                                 208

Treating acute pain · Professional help · Devices to control pain · Therapies to control pain · Behavioral approaches


Chapter 13:  Integrative medicine                                                                                             218

Choosing an integrative therapy · Forms of integrative therapy · Mind-body medicine · Herbs and other dietary supplements · Energy therapies · Hands-on therapies · Alternative medical and healing systems ·   Evaluating integrative therapies


Chapter 14:  Joint Injections                                                                                                      244

Corticosteroids · Hyaluronic acid · What is regenerative medicine? · Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy ·

Stem cell therapy




Chapter 15:  Staying active                                                                                                        252

Benefits of exercise · Getting started · Your weekly workout · Exercise guide · Tailoring your program · Staying motivated


Chapter 16:  Eating a healthy diet                                                                                              274

Diet and arthritis · Reducing arthritis symptoms · The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid · How to get more calcium · Benefits of a healthy weight · Strategies for success · Food and drug interactions


Chapter 17:  Your mind and your health                                                                                    298

Your body and stress · Focus on the positive · Reduce stress · Learn to relax · Seek support · Intimacy ·  Simplify your life · Get your rest · Stay in control


Chapter 18:  Protecting your joints                                                                                            314

Basics of joint protection · Assistive devices for daily tasks · Assistive devices for mobility · Guide to joint-friendly posture and movement


Chapter 19:  Traveling with arthritis                                                                                          330

Planning a trip · Choosing where to stay · What to take · Transportation · Traveling abroad


Chapter 20:  On the job                                                                                                             342

Know your rights · Protect your joints · Commute wisely · Get comfortable with your computer · Keep an open mind · Job interview tips


Chapter 21:  Your immune system and arthritis                                                                         352

Get vaccinated · Keep your immune system healthy


Where to get more help



Lynne S. Peterson, M.D., is an award-winning rheumatologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, with more than 20 years of experience in treating arthritis and other types of rheumatic diseases. In addition to working as an assistant professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Dr. Peterson has spent years researching the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on juveniles and adults. As a result of this research, she has been awarded the Clinical Researcher of the Year award and the Clinical Distinction award from the Rheumatoid Arthritis Investigational Network. Dr. Peterson currently serves on the education committee in the division of rheumatology for the Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic and is certified in rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine.