What You Can Do If You Have Arthritis

Following these self-management strategies can help people with arthritis decrease pain, improve function, stay productive and lower health care costs.

Learn Arthritis Management Strategies

Learning techniques to reduce pain and limitations can be beneficial to people with arthritis. Self-management education, such as the Personal Action Toward Health (PATH) program can help you develop the skills and confidence to manage your arthritis on a day to day basis.

Be Active

Research has shown that physical activity decreases pain, improves function, and delays disability. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week. Read about the benefits of physical activity for people with arthritis. EnhanceFitness is one physical activity class the CDC recommends for people with arthritis.

Watch Your Weight

The prevalence of arthritis increases with increasing weight. Research suggests that maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing arthritis and may decrease disease progression. A loss of just 11 pounds can decrease the occurrence (incidence) of new knee.

See Your Doctor

Although there is no cure for most types of arthritis, early diagnosis and appropriate management is important, especially for inflammatory types of arthritis. For example, early use of disease-modifying drugs can affect the course of rheumatoid arthritis. If you have symptoms of arthritis, see your doctor and begin appropriate management of your condition.

Protect Your Joints

Joint injury can lead to osteoarthritis. People who experience sports or occupational injuries or have jobs with repetitive motions like repeated knee bending have more osteoarthritis. Avoid joint injury to reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis.