Myths about Arthritis; explained
Arthritis or degenerative joint disease can range from many different symptoms that all lead down to a few main stereotypes. This is general stiffness, limited range in motion and pain when moving in the joints. Arthritis pain is hard to identify because scientists aren’t quite sure about the cause of most types of the disease. Some causes can be anywhere from a specific event, obesity to simply genetics. Everything is included in what may cause your specific type, age, gender, work factors and weight. But how do we know what is a fact and what is a myth? This article is to tell you about the myth versus facts.
MYTH NUMBER ONE: There’s only one kind of arthritis
- There are actually over 100 different kinds of arthritis and diseases that are related to it! Some of the many types include rheumatoid, osteoarthritis and psoriatic to name a few. These are all incredibly different forms; rheumatoid is where the body attacks not only the joints but the organs as well. Osteoarthritis is the first type that normally comes to mind. It’s where the cartilage inside the joints breaks down. Finally, psoriatic this is an autoimmune inflammatory disease. This is why if you have arthritis, it’s important to find out what kind you have before beginning treatment on yourself.
MYTH NUMBER TWO: You can’t exercise
- With most cases of arthritis, it’s important to keep up your exercise. Certain exercises aren’t recommended but many forms of physical activity such as swimming can be a great alternative. Any exercise that is low-impact can greatly improve movement of your joints. Stronger muscles and more flexibility will also improve any further wear and tear of any joints.
- Working out can also be a great method of preventing further arthritis by maintaining a healthy body. By staying healthy and keeping a happy body weight, you reduce the risk of further deterioration of your joints or prevention of arthritis all together.
MYTH NUMBER THREE: It only happens to seniors
- Most tend to think that as you age, your bones and joints do and arthritis soon follows. Although this can be true, it depends on which kind of arthritis you have. For certain types of arthritis you may get over seventy but there are some that can happen at an infantile stage. So it’s important to take care of your body so that you won’t develop it at a young age or an older age.
MYTH NUMBER FOUR: Cracking knuckles will cause arthritis
- A phrase that might be said just because it doesn’t sound the greatest for you. But have no fear; this habit will not actually cause arthritis! However, cracking your knuckles can lead to a weaker grip and other injuries, so maybe it’s a habit that should be stopped anyway.
MYTH NUMBER FIVE: Weather and joints
- Direct correlation between wet weather and painful joints does not have any scientific evidence behind it; or not yet at least. So for now, it is a myth that wet weather causes arthritis pain. There is a theory of biometric pressure causing expansion in the joints. This in turn could cause joint pain.
MYTH NUMBER SIX: Joint pain = arthritis
- Not all joint pain may be arthritis. There are many conditions that will have the same joint symptoms; Lyme disease is an example. This is why it’s important to go to your doctor before starting any treatments for arthritis. Just because you think it’s arthritis, doesn’t mean it always is.
MYTH NUMBER SEVEN: Heat is better for pain than ice
- When you have arthritis, throughout the day there will be a lot of inflammation in the joints from movement and activity. This is why heat is very good in the morning, this will allow joints and muscles to relax and reduce morning stiffness. However at the end of the day the body is inflamed from all the movement you do throughout the day. Take time to put some ice on those joints in reduce inflammation so that they aren’t inflamed and ready to go tomorrow. Moral of the story, both heat and ice are important if you are having joint pain.
MYTH NUMBER EIGHT: You need to “take it easy” when you have arthritis
- Although this myth seems to make the most sense, it isn’t the case when it comes to arthritis pain. In many other injuries, rest ice and elevation is the route to go. For arthritis it is quite the opposite. It’s important to continue to move and exercise to keep a full range of motion in your body. Lowering the amount of impact in your daily activity will help, but not removing activity completely. In the end, talk to your doctor. They will know best on how much rest versus exercise you should be doing; work with them to develop a healthy plan for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
MYTH NUMBER NINE: Diet has nothing to do with it
- There isn’t a specific type of food that you need to start eating in the sense of a particular food group. This is bigger than changes from apples to oranges. It’s changing from onion rings to sweet potatoes, from fast food to something made at home. It’s all about maintaining a healthy diet. Certain types of arthritis can be caused by obesity. So eating more veggies than chips can be a major help in your lifestyle and diet. Always take a diet change in baby steps. In order to maintain a healthy diet, you need to filter out the junk food slowly but surely. This way you are more likely to stay off the junk food forever.
MYTH NUMBER TEN: There is nothing you can do about your disease
- Don’t give up because of this new aspect of your life. Step one in self help with arthritis is finding out what type you have and seeing if there is a direct cause of it. Once you speak to a doctor and find out what type you have, there are many different avenues that you can discuss with your doctor to help improve and prevent it from worsening. You can continue to lead a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy diet, and receiving the necessary medication and treatments.
You can do it! Arthritis isn’t the end of a healthy active life. There are many different ways of easy fixes in your life to ease the pain. Changing your diet and low impact exercise can be some of the more obvious alternatives. But even changing smaller things, such as adaptive wear can help ease daily dressing challenges. Easy touch fastenings instead of buttons can greatly help daily struggles making every day better. Just focusing a little more on taking care of your body is needed. With these myths busted, hopefully you are a little more driven to staying active, and although there is no direct cure, preventing further degeneration is possible.