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National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

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What You Can Do: The Importance of Self-Care and a Good-Health Attitude continued...

6. Keep a positive attitude: Perhaps the best thing you can do for your health is to keep a positive attitude. People must decide to make the most of things when faced with the challenges of osteoarthritis. This attitude – a goodhealth mindset – doesn’t just happen. It takes work, every day. And with the right attitude, you will achieve it.

Enjoy a “Good-Health Attitude”

  • Focus on your abilities instead of disabilities.
  • Focus on your strengths instead of weaknesses.
  • Break down activities into small tasks that you can manage.
  • Incorporate fitness and nutrition into daily routines.
  • Develop methods to minimize and manage stress.
  • Balance rest with activity.
  • Develop a support system of family, friends, and health professionals.


What Research Is Being Done on Osteoarthritis?

The leading role in osteoarthritis research is played by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAMS funds many researchers across the United States to study osteoarthritis. Scientists at NIAMS Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Centers conduct basic and clinical research aimed at understanding the causes, treatment options, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases.

In 2004, NIAMS and other institutes and offices of the NIH began recruiting participants for the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI). The OAI is a collaboration that pools the funds and expertise of the NIH and industry to hasten the discovery of osteoarthritis biomarkers: physical signs or biological substances that indicate changes in bone or cartilage. Researchers are collecting images and specimens from approximately 5,000 people at high risk of having osteoarthritis as well as those at high risk of progression to severe osteoarthritis during the course of the study. Scientists are following participants for 5 years, collecting biological specimens (blood, urine, and DNA), images (x rays and magnetic resonance imaging scans), and clinical data annually. For updates on this initiative, go to www.niams.nih.gov/ne/oi/.

Other key areas of research supported by NIAMS and other institutes within NIH include the following:

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