Did you know that arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the US today and it affects an estimated 53 million adults and 300,000 children!
Spearheaded by the Arthritis Foundation, National Arthritis Awareness Month aims to make people more aware of arthritis and the issues involved. As a condition that affects millions of Americans, it’s important to understand and spread the word about joint health, arthritis prevention and treatment.
To help bring awareness, we thought it would be a good time to dispel some of the most common misconceptions about arthritis.
Here are 4 Common Myths:
Myth 1 – Arthritis only affects the elderly
Arthritis does not discriminate- it can happen at any age. The most common type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis, a condition caused by wear and tear on the joints over time. Osteoarthritis tends to appear in older adults, however “types of arthritis characterized by joint inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, can happen at any age” (abcnews). Juvenile arthritis, an autoimmune disease, occurs in children.
Myth 2 – You should avoid exercise if you have arthritis
Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. Regular exercise keeps arthritis in check and can help to overcome some of its worst symptoms. Exercise increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. What type of exercise you do depends on the type of arthritis and the specific symptoms that you have. There are many exercise programs that are optimal for arthritis patients, allowing you to exercise effectively without damaging already painful joints. Whatever program you choose, check with your doctor, don’t overdo it, and let the instructor know if you’re having any difficulty.
Myth 3 – All joint pain is arthritis
Having swollen achy joints doesn’t necessarily mean you have arthritis. There are several other conditions that can cause joint pain such as tendonitis and bursitis, as well as other soft-tissue injuries to name a few. If you are experiencing joint pain, you should consult with your healthcare provider for a correct diagnosis and treatment.
Myth 4 – There is no treatment for arthritis
There are many things you can do to help ease the symptoms and pain of arthritis. Diet, exercise, natural remedies and medications can all help. Over the counter medications as well and prescription medications are available. If joint pain or damage is so severe that medication isn’t working, surgery to replace the joint or improve its alignment may be recommended.
Here at Oh My Arthritis we are dedicated to help support the cause and fight for those with arthritis– in hopes of finding better treatments and ultimately a cure!