8 Arthritis Myths Busted

8 Arthritis Myths Busted

“There are more than 100 different types of arthritis known to exist, each having a different cause and different treatment”

Causes And Types Of Arthritis

A combination of genetic and external environmental factors are the cause of arthritis, which is the inflammation of the joints. Mostly characterized by joint pain and stiffness, arthritis can affect either one joint or multiple joints. Environmental factors include repetitive injury to a joint, smoking, high consumption of alcohol and sugary drinks, sedentary lifestyle and obesity increases the risk of arthritis. Also, sometimes an infection or an allergic reaction can give rise to short-lived arthritis.

The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In OA, it is often the weight bearing joints that get swollen and stiff. These include the knees, spine and hips. In RA, the fingers, hands and wrist joints are the most affected. There are also more than 100 different types of arthritis known to exist, each having a different cause and different treatment. Also, there are several misconceptions and myths that revolve around this ailment. Here are some of these myths along with the facts.

Myth 1

Arthritis Is An Inevitable Part Of Getting Older

Yes, arthritis is more likely to strike when you are older. But it can also strike the working age group. And while there’s no cure, early treatment can delay the symptoms from appearing. Or you could stop your arthritis from getting worse, if you already have the symptoms.

Myth 2

Warm And Dry Climate Is Better For Arthritis

You may experience a temporary improvement in symptoms, it you move to a warm and dry climate, But medical research shows that your joints adapt and your symptoms tend to go back to what they were in the long run.

Myth 3

Cracking Knuckle Joints Causes Arthritis

Studies show that cracking your knuckles don’t increase your risk of developing arthritis. The cracking sound is simply believed to be pressure changes in your joint’s lubricant (synovial) fluid, causing the collapse of gas bubbles in the fluid. It doesn’t damage the joints.

Myth 4

X-Rays Reveal The Truth About Arthritis

X-rays may often be an unreliable guide for arthritis symptoms. For example, you may have a perfectly normal x-ray, but experience a lot of pain – or have severe osteoarthritic changes on your X-ray, but not necessarily feel a lot of pain.

The most effective way to diagnose arthritis is based on whether you have symptoms (pain, stillness, weakness and negative impact on your ability to do things), as well as other tests, such as a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis or for gout and finding uric acid crystals in fluid taken from your joints.

Myth 5

Drinking Vinegar Reduces Arthritis Pain And Disease Progression By Altering The pH Of Your Blood

While this sounds appealing, the truth of the matter is that neither of these claims are valid. First, the things that we ingest do not alter the pH of our blood, because not only do our bodies adjust their pH before they are absorbed into the bloodstream, but the gastrointestinal tract is designed to absorb nutrients we need and eliminate the ones we do not, through waste.

Myth 6

There Is Just One Type Of Arthritis

There are over a 100 types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia. There are many forms of arthritis resulting in joint stiffness, joint inflammation and pain that makes getting out of bed in the morning agonizing, rising from your chair torture, or even a once easy task, of getting in and out of your car a monumental achievement!

Myth 7

The Only Treatment For Arthritis Pain Is Pills Or Surgery

In order to make an informed decision, you need to be armed with the latest in arthritis treatment choices. Sometimes surgery is necessary, but before surgery the alternate options should always be explored first. Medicines are sometimes a necessary evil. Evil, because over time they can cause liver toxicity and can also increase your susceptibility to life-threatening infections. However, on the other hand, they are necessary at times because they help alleviate pain.

Functional exercise treatment through regular exercises (physiotherapy) also increases people’s functional independence and daily movement, enabling one to get through daily routines with lesser pain. But these tend to be successful only at early stages. The surgeon will evaluate the exact stage of arthritis and advise if surgery is needed. Surgery today, in the form of total knee replacement, is one of the most successful procedures.

Myth 8

Pre-Operative Or Post Operative Exercise Makes Arthritis Patients Experience More Pain

The goal of arthritis exercise treatment, before or after surgery is to reduce inflammation, minimize pain and to improve ability to function. Exercise can accomplish all o? these goals safely. While increasing blood flow and providing important nutrients to your body, functional fitness keeps the muscles that surround your joints strong and hence diminishes joint pain.

Functional exercise includes practicing full range of motion exercises, which makes your body supply the much needed lubrication to your stiff joints (in non-surgical cases) and to the operated knee joints with implants (in operated cases). With continued practice of a functional exercise program, your body will reward you with an increased ability to perform meaningful activities of daily living, without pain.

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