More than 10 million people in the UK have arthritis and rheumatism, and the number seems to be increasing year by year. About 20 per cent of all doctor visits are for these and related musculoskeletal conditions, making this the largest group of patients attending surgeries. Although these disorders are not in themselves a major cause of death, they are the largest cause of pain and disability. Over three million adults are physically disabled because of such problems. Arthritis and rheumatism are blanket terms that cover many different conditions. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis; currently affecting more than eight million people in the UK. In addition, there are about a million people with rheumatoid arthritis. Fibromyalgia is even more common than rheumatoid arthritis. People of all ages can be affected - e.g some 15,000 children are affected by juvenile arthritis. While there is much the doctor can do, this book looks at how to help yourself. One of the main themes of this book is what the author calls the Life Cycle, which demonstrates how aspects of a person's life interact to influence their condition including body, emotions, mind and lifestyle.