National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
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
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: