Acronyms for Arthritis Conditions - A Handy Reference

What Does That Stand For?

Woman talking to her doctor.
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Have you spent much time in the hospital or visiting doctors? Healthcare workers seem to have their own code and speak their own language at times. Overhearing their conversations, which often include abbreviations and acronyms, can make your head spin. It's not uncommon to feel like interjecting, "What does that stand for?" Worry no more. We've compiled this handy reference.


A knowledge of medical terminology related to arthritis is important so that you can be a partner in your own healthcare.

Communicating with doctors, nurses, and technicians is made easier if you have a good grasp of medical jargon. You will relax and feel more in control when you feel your healthcare team is talking to you and not talking above you and your level of comprehension.

One of our readers pointed out the value of medical terminology courses. The person wrote, "When I first got hurt, and realized that I couldn't understand anything my docs were telling me, or anything about the reports that I was getting back from them, I took a correspondence course on Medical Terminology. The course has been a life saver for me, and has given me an advantage, being able to fully understand what is being said to, and about, me."

Understanding the Lingo

The following compilation of acronyms correlates with the various types of arthritis, as well as the tests and treatments which are associated with arthritic diseases.

Use the list as a reference while you familiarize yourself with the "arthri-lingo" which often is used as a shortcut for hard-to-say, hard-to-spell medical terms.

It is common to see arthritis online community members use "arthri-lingo" and "cyberlingo" as they communicate. As newly diagnosed arthritis patients learn the lingo, their understanding of what is being discussed will surely be enhanced.

Diseases and Conditions

AOSD - Adult Onset Still's Disease

AS - Ankylosing Spondylitis

AVN - Avascular Necrosis

CPPD - Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate

CTS - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

CREST - Calcinosis, Raynauds, Esophagus disease, Sclerodactyly, Telangiectasia

DDD - Degenerative Disk Disease

DISH - Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis

DJD - Degenerative Joint Disease

EDS - Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

FMS - Fibromyalgia Syndrome

IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

JRA - Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

JH - Joint Hypermobility

MCTD - Mixed Connective Tissue Disease

OA - Osteoarthritis

PMR - Polymyalgia Rheumatica

PA - Psoriatic Arthritis

RA - Rheumatoid Arthritis

RSD - Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

RLS - Restless Leg Syndrome

RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury

SLE - Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

SS - Sjogren's Syndrome

TMJ - Temperomandibular Joints

UCTS - Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Syndrome


ASA - Acetyl salicylic acid (aspirin)

COX - Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors

DMARDs - Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs

MTX - Methotrexate

NSAIDs - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


DMSO - Dimethyl sulfoxide

MSM - Methylsulfonylmethane

SAM-e - S-adenosyl-methionine

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