Arthritis PainPage 1 of 4
Arthritis Pain Information and Arthritis Pain Relief
- What Is Arthritis?
- What Is Pain?
- How Many Americans Have Arthritis Pain?
- What Causes Arthritis Pain? Why Is It So Variable?
- How Do Doctors Measure Arthritis Pain?
- What Will Happen When You First Visit a Doctor for
Your Arthritis Pain?
- Who Can Treat Arthritis Pain?
- Arthritis Pain Relief - How Is Arthritis Pain Treated?
- What Alternative Therapies May Relieve Arthritis
- How Can You Cope With Arthritis Pain?
- What Research Is Being Conducted on Arthritis Pain?
- Where Can You Find More Information on Arthritis Pain?
More Arthritis Pain Information
The word arthritis literally means joint inflammation, but it
is often used to refer to a group of more than 100 rheumatic diseases
that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. These diseases
may affect not only the joints but also other parts of the body, including
important supporting structures such as muscles, bones, tendons, and
ligaments, as well as some internal organs. This booklet focuses on
pain caused by two of the most common forms of arthritis--osteoarthritis
and rheumatoid arthritis.
What Is Arthritis Pain?
Arthritis Pain is the body's warning system, alerting you that something
is wrong. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines
it as an unpleasant experience associated with actual or potential tissue
damage to a person's body. Specialized nervous system cells (neurons)
that transmit pain signals are found throughout the skin and other body
tissues. These cells respond to things such as injury or tissue damage.
For example, when a harmful agent such as a sharp knife comes in contact
with your skin, chemical signals travel from neurons in the skin through
nerves in the spinal cord to your brain, where they are interpreted
Most forms of arthritis are associated with pain that can be divided
into two general categories: acute and chronic. Acute pain is temporary.
It can last a few seconds or longer but wanes as healing occurs. Some
examples of things that cause acute pain include burns, cuts, and fractures.
Chronic pain, such as that seen in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid
arthritis, ranges from mild to severe and can last weeks, months, and
years to a lifetime.
How Many Americans Have Arthritis Pain?