Lifestyle & Management

Everyone living with arthritis has a different experience, although many basic aspects of the disease are common to all. Each person experiences the tenderness, pain, inflammation, and disability differently.

Your own lifestyle and needs will direct how you adapt to your arthritis symptoms. The providers on your healthcare team will be able to offer many coping strategies. The following approaches will make it easier.

Take Control of Your Disease

Come up with a plan with the help of your provider and healthcare team that includes exercise programs, relaxation, and regular check-ups. Educate yourself so that you understand your own treatment routine. Research shows that people who are in control of their treatment feel less pain and spend less time at their healthcare provider’s office.

Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is a critical part of arthritis treatment. Studies for osteoarthritis treatment have shown that that regular physical activity is associated with decreased pain and improved ability to move around. Over time, physical activity can also help weight loss, which can help with osteoarthritis pain too.


If you have gout, your healthcare provider may advise you to avoid certain foods that can raise the risk of gout flares. These include shellfish, full-fat dairy, and alcohol.

Find Support Groups and Other Resources

You can find support in your community or online. Bring your family and friends on board. Sharing your own experiences and hearing about other people coping with the same diagnosis can be helpful, educational, and empowering. Arthritis self-management programs teach people with arthritis about their disease and help them take charge of their own care. 

Last Updated August 2020