Arthritis Quiz

Take charge of the disease with useful information.


Take the Quiz

Any plan to take charge of your arthritis must be based on knowledge.

Find out how much you already know about arthritis by answering the following six questions.

1. Arthritis is a disease of aging. a) true b) false

2. How many types of arthritislike conditions are there? a) 100 b) 4 c) 26 d) 50

3. Arthritis primarily affects: a) men b) women c) both equally

4. Arthritis is a minor disease of aches and pains. a) true b) false

5. There is no really effective treatment for arthritis. a) true b) false

6. The most common form of arthritis is: a) rheumatoid arthritis b) gout c) fibromyalgia d) osteoarthritis

Do you know the score? Let's see just how well you did. The next page has the correct answers.

The Answers

Here are the answers to the quiz:

1. Arthritis is a disease of aging. a) true b) false

While the prevalence of arthritis increases with age, it can strike at any time. Two-thirds of those who are affected are under the age of 65, and almost 300,000 are children.

2. How many types of arthritislike conditions are there? a) 100 b) 4 c) 26 d) 50

There are actually more than 100 forms of arthritis affecting joints and connective tissues throughout the body.

3. Arthritis primarily affects: a) men b) women c) both equally

Nearly two-thirds of those who have arthritis are women, although some diseases (such as gout or ankylosing spondylitis) are more likely to affect men.

4. Arthritis is a minor disease of aches and pains. a) true b) false

Arthritis often starts out as minor aches and pains but may progress rapidly. Some forms of arthritis can affect the muscles and connective tissues of the body, including the skin and internal organs. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to avoid the damage that can occur in the first few years.

5. There is no really effective treatment for arthritis. a) true b) false

According to the Arthritis Foundation, half of all Americans agree with this statement, but it's not true. Although there is no known cure for most forms of arthritis, there are effective treatments available to relieve symptoms and help prevent or delay permanent damage and disability. Appropriate treatment depends on the type of arthritis.

6. The most common form of arthritis is: a) rheumatoid arthritis b) gout c) fibromyalgia d) osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis far outnumbers other types of arthritis, accounting for more than 20 million of the 43 million Americans who have arthritis.

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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.

Books

  • 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

Organizations

  • 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).

Here is a description of the most common forms of arthritis that affect people over age 50.

OsteoarthritisWhat is itWho gets itHow it's diagnosed

A disease that causes a breakdown in cartilage, resulting in joint pain and stiffness. Occurs most often in the spine, knees, hips and fingers.
How it's treated

Exercise, weight control, physical and occupational therapy, patient education, surgery, and medications. Drugs include acetaminophen for pain relief; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or COX-2 inhibitors; topical analgesics; and corticosteroid injections into affected joints.

 

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

What is it

Inflammation that causes pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulder, and hip areas. May cause systemic symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, and slight fever, plus aching in other joints.

Who gets it

Usually people over 50, with an average age at onset of 70. Occurs twice as often in women as men.

How it's diagnosed

Medical history, phys

Here is a description of the most common forms of arthritis that affect people over age 50.

 

Osteoarthritis

What is it

A disease that causes a breakdown in cartilage, resulting in joint pain and stiffness. Occurs most often in the spine, knees, hips and fingers.

Who gets it

20 million American men and women. Incidence increases with age, but can affect younger people, often as a result of injury, a congenital defect, or obesity.

How it's diagnosed

Medical history, physical exam, and sometimes X rays or joint aspiration.

Tendinitis or Bursitis

What is it

Inflammation or irritation of the tendon (a thick cord that attaches muscle to bone) or the bursa (a small sac located between a bone and muscle, skin, or tendon). Pain is the major symptom.

Who gets it

Often occurs in otherwise healthy people who have injured or overused a joint area.

 

Gout

What is it

A disease in which deposits of uric acid crystals cause sudden, severe pain and inflammation in one joint, usually the big toe, foot, or ankle.

Who gets it

A first attack most often affects men between 40 and 50, although it can occur at any age or, in women, usually after menopause.

How it's diagnosed

Medical history, physical exam, and a blood test to measure the amount of uric acid.

How it's treated

lvetica, sans-serif" size="2" color="#FFCCCC">Medications and dietary modifications, including weight loss if obese. Drugs used to treat an acute attack include NSAIDs, corticosteroids, colchicine, and ACTH. Other drugs also may be used to prevent future episodes.

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