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The Arthritis Action Program
An Integrated Plan of Traditional and Complementary Therapies
By Michael E. Weinblatt

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The Arthritis Action Program

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The Arthritis Action Program
An Integrated Plan of Traditional and Complementary Therapies
A Harvard Medical School Book
By Michael E. Weinblatt
Fireside Books, 2001 - Standard Print
ISBN: 0-684-86803-2
Genre: Health

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - March 13, 2002

Many misconceptions exist about arthritis, the primary misconception being that it is caused by a single disease. The Arthritis Action Program offers a very readable introduction into all aspects of arthritis, from what it is, and isn't. This book also offers in-depth information on up-to-date treatment methods and therapies, and steps you can take to help prevent injuries to your joints. Written by Dr. Michael E. Weinblatt, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, this book offers authoritative and easy to follow advice on how best to manage your arthritis.

According to Weinblatt, one in six people suffers from some form of arthritis. In the past, arthritis was universally viewed as an incurable, crippling disease. As of yet, a cure for arthritis does not exist. However, with modern advances in medical and physical therapies arthritis can often be effectively managed enabling you to lead a normal and productive life. In this book, Weinblatt explains the various forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. He also looks at the various conditions that have symptoms that mimic arthritis. In each case, Weinblatt describes how the various conditions are diagnosed, and how each affects the body. He discusses the various medications that can be used to treat arthritis, and to control any associated pain. Also touched upon are the surgical options that can be used to treat arthritis if noninvasive techniques fail.

Most important, this book offers a wealth of advice on how you can best help yourself control your arthritis. Weinblatt explains how changes in diet can help control or even prevent some arthritic episodes, and how these changes in diet can help to improve your overall health. He specifies various exercises that you can do that will strengthen your joints, thereby helping to protect them. Also discussed are 'complementary therapies', such as herbal remedies and relaxation techniques, that may help you to take control of your arthritis. In his discussion of these 'complementary therapies', Weinblatt tries to winnow the wheat from the chaff, explaining those therapies that might be helpful and which are pure hype.

Whether you have been dealing with arthritis for years or have just been diagnosed, or even if you simply suspect that you might be developing arthritis, you will find this book to be a valuable resource. Not only does it offer an encyclopedic overview of arthritis, but it also offers tips on everything from questions to ask your doctor to were to get help if you have, or think you have, arthritis. The Arthritis Action Program is also enhanced by the inclusion of several case studies that illustrate how various individuals have been helped by a combination of traditional and complementary therapies.

Armed with the knowledge garnered from this book, you can take a more proactive role in managing your condition. In addition, this knowledge will help you to deal effectively with any pain or inconvenience caused by the arthritis. One thing is certain, after reading this book you will not only be better informed about arthritis, and current treatment options, but you will also be reassured that arthritis is no longer the devastating, crippling disease that it once was.

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