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The most common cause of arthritis in our country is wear and tear arthritis, which in medical terms is called osteoarthritis.
There are other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and gout, to name a few, which are not covered here. Symptoms of those diseases that are different from wear and tear type arthritis are fever, prolonged joint stiffness, redness, and swelling.
Osteoarthritis can be helped by staying active in ways that minimize the ongoing wear and tear on the affected joints. This can help other parts of the body compensate and reduce the stress of the affected joints.
I've found the following link to be useful. A US government organization, the AHRQ, has published a downloadable PDF document reviewing the various over the counter and prescription medications that are commonly used to treat osteoarthritis. Follow the link to start the download:
It's important to let your doctor know which medications you're taking, even over the counter medicines like Motrin or supplements like glucosamine, because these can cause side effects such as stomach bleeding or kidney damage, as well as interact with other medicines you may be taking.
Please note that these are for your general information only, and should not substitute for discussions with your doctor.