Arthritis or degenerative joint disease can be indicated by a lot of symptoms such as joint stiffness, limited range of motion and pain when engaging in certain activities. It is hard to determine what causes arthritis but generally this degenerative joint disorder has been linked to obesity, injury or genes.
But how can we dispel the myths that have been associated with arthritis? This article is going to tell you about the myth versus facts:
MYTH 1: There’s Only One Kind of Arthritis
There are many kinds of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis to name a few. Rheumatoid is where the body attacks not only the joints but the organs as well. Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage inside the joints breaks down. Finally, psoriatic is an autoimmune inflammatory disease. This is why if you have arthritis, it’s important to find out what kind of arthritis you have.
MYTH 2: You Can Not Exercise
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle even if you have arthritis. Certain exercises aren’t recommended but many forms of physical activity such as swimming can prove to be a great alternative. Any exercise that is low-impact can greatly improve movement of your joints.
Maintaining healthy weight is also beneficial for a variety of reasons. By staying healthy and keeping a healthy body weight, you can reduce the risk of further deterioration of your joints or prevention of arthritis altogether.
MYTH 3: It only happens to seniors
Most people tend to think that only seniors get arthritis. Although this can be true, it depends on which kind of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis onset usually occurs after the age of 40. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune inflammatory type of arthritis, can develop at any age.
MYTH 4: Cracking Knuckles Will Cause Arthritis
Some people have a habit of cracking their knuckles to relieve tension, others do it out of nervousness. It’s a very common behavior among people but there are no studies to prove cracking knuckles causes 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 5: Cold Weather Causes Arthritis
Direct correlation between wet or cold 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 cold weather causes arthritis pain. There is a theory of biometric pressure causing expansion in the joints. This in turn could cause joint pain.
MYTH 6: Joint Pain Always Equates to Arthritis
Not all joint pain can be termed as 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 7: 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. Moral of the story, both heat and ice are important if you are having joint pain.
MYTH 8: 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 are the general recommendations. 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 9: Diet Has Nothing To Do Arthritis
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. It always takes smaller steps to incorporate bigger changes. 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.
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. For those who have arthritis, you can choose easy dressing solutions such as adaptive wear. Adaptive clothing can help ease daily dressing challenges if you suffer from arthritis pain in your daily routine.
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.