Treatment for the two most common forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis (ost-tee-oh-ar-threye-tiss) and rheumatoid (room-ah-toyd) arthritis, is basically the same. Most therapies include a combination of medication, exercise, and rest. Medicine helps control pain and reduce inflammation, while exercise maintains joint movement and strengthens muscles. In cases where function is severely threatened, surgery to replace or rebuild damaged joints may be necessary. Talk to your doctor about a treatment program that includes exercise or physical therapy and will meet your needs. The sooner you seek help, the better. Most forms of arthritis can be contained from advancing to severe stages if treated early. Until a cure is found, staying as healthy and comfortable as possible is the best way to live with the disease. For more information, contact a health care professional.