Hold On Tight! TO YOUR SELF by ProQuest

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There are more than 100 forms of arthritis, yet most physicians name osteoarthritis as the most common. "The cartilage that lines the surface of the bones at the joint becomes worn. Often times there are spurs that form at the edge of the joint, or what we call the margins. The combination of the wear of the joint and the spurs causes the joints to not move well and be painful when used," explains Dr. Gary Crump, rheumatologist of Rheumatology Associates in Louisville. Osteoarthritis is easy to recognize. "Symptoms include pain or stiffness in joints after periods of inactivity or excessive use, or a grating or catching sensation during joint movement. It is responsible for a greater difficulty in walking and stair climbing than any other disease," tells Dr. Daksha Mehta, rheumatologist of Center for Arthritis and Osteoporosis in Louisville. Although it cannot be cured, osteoarthritis can be managed. "The first therapy should be acetaminophen or Tylenol which treats mild to moderate pain. Other options include over-thecounter antiinflammatories like ibuprofen and naproxen for swelling, stiffness and moderate pain," tells Dr. Leslie Crofford, chief of rheumatology at University of Kentucky.Women may suffer both physically and emotionally. "A lot of people suffer from depression, isolation and anger and need to know how to deal with the pain," [Young] says. Coping can be a challenge. "When people start to deal with arthritis, it is a sense of fee ing sorry, which is a completely natura and normal reaction," explains Dr. James Thompson, psycho ogist of Pain Control Network in Louisville. The goal is acceptance and not to get stuck in a rut. "When chronic illness happens, you do not have control over that, but you do have control over who you are going to be and how you are going to be in response to that," expresses Thompson. There is a lot you can do. "Walk or go to the hot tub, keep a positive attitude, find a balance between independence and dependence and develop s

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