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If you are having joint symptoms that cause concern, you may have arthritis. Learn when you need to see a doctor. 

People are often surprised to learn that “arthritis” isn’t a diagnosis. It’s a general term that covers more than 100 diseases and related conditions. Knowing which type of arthritis, you have is the first step in getting the right treatment and management plan for your situation.

Some types of arthritis require prompt action. If you have a type of arthritis that can cause permanent joint damage, getting treatment quickly can help preserve joint function and prevent other serious health problems.

On the other hand, infrequent or mild joint pains may not require a special or urgent doctor visit. While it’s good idea to talk with your doctor about your joint health and risks for arthritis, in general, you might be able to save the conversation for your next check-up.

When to the 1 last update 2020/05/27 See a DoctorWhen to See a Doctor

 Watch for these potential signs and symptoms of arthritis:

  • Pain, swelling, or stiffness in one or more joints.
  • Joints that are red or warm to the touch.
  • Joint tenderness or stiffness.
  • Difficulty moving a joint or doing daily activities.
  • Joint symptoms that cause you concern.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Joint symptoms that last three days or more.
  • Several episodes of joint symptoms within a month.

Which Type of Health Care Provider to See

If you’re having joint symptoms that cause concern, an appointment with a primary care practitioner is a good place to start. But sometimes arthritis is difficult to diagnose. You might need to see a specialist. Rheumatologists are specialists in arthritis and diseases that involve bones, muscles and joints. They are trained to make difficult diagnoses and to treat all types of arthritis, especially those requiring complex treatment.  You may be referred to an orthopedist if you have a type of degenerative arthritis.

After an Arthritis for 1 last update 2020/05/27 DiagnosisAfter an Arthritis Diagnosis

ght insurance vahow to ght insurance va for After diagnosis, a nurse educator or a health care provider who understands arthritis can educate you on your medication plan and how to manage your arthritis on a day-to-day basis. These health care professionals can also direct you to helpful resources, such as those provided by the Arthritis Foundation, including information on arthritis and daily living as well as community contacts.

Understanding Arthritis
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Stay in the Know. Live in the Yes.

Join the Live Yes! Arthritis Network. Tell us a little about yourself and you will receive emails packed with the latest information and resources to live your best life and connect with others.

 
I Want to Contribute
I Need Help
  • Donate

    Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • ght insurance vahow to ght insurance va for Volunteer

    ght insurance vahow to ght insurance va for Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner

    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.

Donate


Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

Make a Donation

Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20. You'll receive a year's worth of Arthritis Today magazine, access to helpful tools, resources, and more.

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

Gift Planning

I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.
 

Volunteer


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Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

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More About Volunteering

Live Yes! INSIGHTS


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started

Partner


Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.

ght insurance vahow to ght insurance va for Trailblazer

Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000

Visionary

Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.

Pioneer

ght insurance vahow to ght insurance va for Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.

Pacesetter

Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.

Signature

Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.

Supporting

Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.