A more balanced guide than the promotional material may suggest. True to their name, the Prevention people stress avoiding the problem in the first place. (Proper exercise, avoiding overweight, and other lifestyle factors can make a difference.) True to the title, the emphasis is on non-drug and non-medical treatment. But those who do have one or another form of the disease (osteoarthritis--the ""wear and tear"" type--is most common) will find the book a wide-ranging source of information and help. Part I covers the types of arthritis (osteo, rheumatoid, gout, and some rarer disorders), and sensibly eliminates ""Arthritis That Isn't"": the ""Basic Bad Back"" and other aches and pains. Part II, on ""Taking Charge,"" makes a strong plug for ""the Spunk Factor""--or getting rid of a ""victim"" mentality as a big step toward regaining strength and mobility. Of the specific measures described, some are by no means established (including the so-called arthritis diets). The authors are careful, however, to present them in the correct, provisional light: as harmless, and possibly helpful. (""While we wait for the scientists to figure things out, you might want to try a private 'study' on yourself."") They also suggest: exercise, especially in water (the relief from weight-bearing is a big help); established means of relieving pain without drugs, and some innocuous folk remedies. And they caution against DMSO (""A dangerous treatment, whether your neighbor uses it or not""). Medical treatments, including joint surgery, are fairly discussed; and the need for competent medical help is not ignored. In sum: a conscientious presentation of orthodox and alternative possibilities--complementary to Rachel Carr's Arthritis (1981), for exercise, and Engleman and Silverman's The Arthritis Book (1979), for everything else.