A diagnosis of arthritis is the first step toward arthritis treatment. In addition to arthritis symptoms and a doctor's examination, blood tests and X-rays are commonly used to confirm rheumatoid arthritis. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies called rheumatoid factors (RF) in their blood, although RF may also be present in other disorders.X-rays are used to diagnose osteoarthritis, typically revealing a loss of cartilage, bony spurs, and bone rubbing against bone. Sometimes blood tests and joint aspiration (using a needle to draw a small sample of fluid from the joint for testing) are used to rule out other types of arthritis.Treatment of arthritis generally includes occupational or physical therapy - osteopathy, exercise, drugs, and sometimes surgery to correct joint damage. Treatments for osteoarthritis generally can help relieve pain and stiffness, but the condition may continue to progress. The same was true for rheumatoid arthritis in the past. But newer treatments for rheumatoid arthritis have been able to slow or stop progression of arthritis damage.The duration and intensity of pain and discomfort depend on the type of arthritis you have and the degree of severity.Learning to protect your joints is an important part of arthritis treatment. You can learn easier ways to do your normal activities, such as avoiding positions that strain your joints; using your strongest joints and muscles while sparing weaker ones; wearing braces or supports for certain joints; using grab bars in the bath; using modified doorknobs, canes, or walkers; and using devices to help you with tasks such as opening jars or pulling up socks and zippers.