The first step in taking charge of your arthritis is to get a diagnosis. Once you know what you have, it's up to you to learn all you can about your disease so you can be an effective partner with your physician in managing your arthritis. The following resources will get you off to an excellent start.
- Arthritis by James F. Fries, M.D.
- The Arthritis Helpbook by Kate Lorig and James F. Fries, M.D.
- 50 Tips for Making Life with Arthritis Easier by Shelley Peterman Schwarz
- Arthritis Foundation, 1330 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309; 1-800-283-7800. Offers brochures on major forms of arthritis, plus books and videotapes, exercise classes, educational programs, and support groups.
- American College of Rheumatology, 1800 Century Pl., Suite 250, Atlanta, GA 30345; 404-633-3777. Offers fact sheets on major forms of arthritis, plus a directory of rheumatologists (physicians specializing in arthritis).