The term arthritis is used for over 100 types of conditions that affect the joints or tissues around the joint. Most of them lead to joint pain and stiffness—while some types can impact the immune system and internal organs.Despite being a common health condition in India, arthritis is often misunderstood as it is surrounded by several misconceptions and myths.
It is always useful to learn about this common but painful health condition? How much do you know about arthritis?
Test yourself with these arthritis misconceptions/myths and learn the facts.
Every Joint Pain is Arthritis:
Although arthritis is a form of joint pain, other conditions such as bursitis, tendonitis or soft-tissue injuries can lead to joint pain. These are common structures that are near the actual joints that can lead to pain and swelling and feel like joint pain.
It might be the case of lupus that is an inflammatory condition that affects many different body parts such as the joints, including the lungs, heart and brain. Similarly, gout is a condition that is caused by a high level of uric acid and leads to sudden pain in the foot and joints.
The Weather/Climate Can Impact Arthritis Symptoms
One common misconception is that arthritis can be aggravated in cold and humid climates. However, this is not backed by science yet. There is a link between warmer weather and arthritis relief, as a warm climate encourages a person to remain more active, but there is no proof that colder weather can trigger the condition.
Arthritis Can be Cured
To date, arthritis has been an incurable disease, although the symptoms like pain can be managed and the progression can be slowed down with better treatment options. Nothing has been found successful to treat the disease.
Since most arthritis types are chronic conditions and meant to be a lifelong process, it is important to gain knowledge and understand your own health condition.
One should learn how to deal with arthritis symptoms, medications, herbal supplements and other treatment options, pain relief techniques and how to deal and live well with arthritis.
Poor Diet Causes Arthritis:
Well, a well-balanced, nutritious diet and ideal weight can help manage the symptoms of arthritis.
However, there is no solid scientific evidence yet to prove that specific foods prevent or cause arthritis. Although a healthy diet can be useful in managing arthritis, it cannot prevent arthritis. Unless you have a particular food allergy that makes your arthritis flare, there is no evident link between a specific food source and arthritis.
Exercise Can Worsen Your Arthritis Pain:
It is a common misconception that exercises can worsen your joint pain and stiffness.
But not doing exercise actually can increase pain and stiffness.
Moderate exercises can help manage your arthritis by maintaining your strength and range of motion.
Moreover, it helps reduce joint pain and combat fatigue. Of course, when you are suffering from stiff and painful joints, the thought of doing a workout can seem overwhelming.
This is because strong muscles and surrounding tissues are important to maintain support for the bones. Lack of exercise can weaken these supporting muscles, leading to more stress on the joints.
However, make sure to consult your doctor before doing any workout when you arthritis. Your doctor or therapist can suggest you the right exercise plan according to your condition. Some of the best exercises for arthritis pain are…
- Range of motion workouts to ease stiffness and improve mobility.
- Strengthening exercises to build strong muscles
- Aerobic workouts to manage your weight and improve your stamina and energy.
Heat is More Effective than Ice for Sore Joints:
Both cold and heat can help manage arthritis pain. It all depends on what you feel more comfortable with.
Applying ice at night can lessen joint inflammation causing by daily activities. Applying heat in the morning can relax the muscles for stiff joints.
Make sure to apply ice for 20 minutes at a time. Or you can use a bag of frozen vegetables or wrap some ice cubes in a towel for a quick compress.
A heating pad can be effective for sore joints, too.
If you don’t have a heating pad, you can put a damp washcloth in a microwave for nearly 15 seconds before placing it on the affected joints to ease them.
Arthritis is an Elderly Disease:
Most people think that arthritis is an old-age disease. However, you might at risk of arthritis at any point in your life depending on your lifestyle and genetics.
The different types of arthritis are triggered by different factors, but most of these occur much earlier in life with mild signs that are not generally noticed. The signs are only noticed when the condition worsens over time, and this is usually in the elderly. Arthritis is also more common among adults who are overweight than among those who have normal weight or underweight.
Arthritis is a Life Ruining Disease:
Although the symptoms of arthritis are debilitating and can affect your routine life, it doesn’t mean you are doomed if you have this health condition. With the right lifestyle, diet and proper treatment, you can manage the symptoms of arthritis.
Symptoms are Always Painful and Severe:
Since arthritis is determined by periods of signs variability, with flares and remission, it is often challenging for people to understand why an arthritis patient feel so much better or so much worse on any day.
In fact, some people can believe that the disease is only a psychological impact.
Keep in mind that arthritis can be a mix of relief and pain. Some days, a patient can feel more pain while someday they look totally fine.
So these are myths about arthritis you shouldn’t believe anymore. Keep in mind that the right approach towards the disease is as important as the treatment. Always consult your doctor when it comes to making lifestyle changes or when in doubt.
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