Busting the Myths about Arthritis
There is perhaps no other disorder that has caused so much disability and loss of productivity than arthritis. Millions of people are diagnosed with this condition every year. Due to the high prevalence of this disorder, it cannot be helped that misconceptions about arthritis may surface. Here are the more common misconceptions and the facts behind it.
Arthritis Only Affects Old People
The belief that arthritis only affects the older generation is perhaps the most common misconception about this joint disorder. While it is the elderly who may mostly complain of this disorder, particularly the type called osteoarthritis; the generic disorder of arthritis is not just for old people but may include people of all ages.
This myth may have been propagated by two factors. The first is that osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disorder; and, second, this is usually associated with the elderly as it is an ailment caused by “wear and tear.” This means joints may deteriorate due to the passage of time. But as a whole, with over a hundred types of arthritis, this disorder can affect young adults and even children. People from all ages may be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, lupus, and many more. Even the younger generations may experience osteoarthritis, specifically secondary osteoarthritis which can be caused by trauma or injury.
Arthritis is Triggered by Cold, Wet Climate
This is another misconception that has resulted in a lot of people relocating to warmer places. Experts point out that if this was the case, then there should be no one suffering from arthritis in areas with a warmer climate. But the fact of the matter is that there are still a multitude of people suffering from this disorder even in the tropics. It should be noted that arthritis may be caused by the deterioration of the joint, problems with the immune system, and other reasons that have nothing to do with the weather. However, it has been shown that warmth may provide some relief to the symptoms, which may explain why climate has been associated with arthritis.
Arthritis May Only Cause Aches and Pains
People who have not experienced arthritic pain may think that arthritis is simply a minor ache or pain. This misconception is perhaps largely because of advertisements saying that arthritis can easily be managed and controlled by simply taking medication. This belief will be disputed by anyone who has experienced arthritis. Arthritic pain oftentimes is not just a minor ache. It can be very distressing, and can have a negative impact on a person’s daily life. Aside from the pains, an arthritic person may suffer from inflammation, stiffness, chronic fatigue, and limited range of motion. In serious cases, deformity may result; and still in others, a replacement surgery may even be required just to ease the symptoms.
Arthritis Can Easily be Cured
Even with the giant strides accomplished in the medical world, it is very unfortunate that no cure has been discovered for the treatment of this condition. A patient may only be able to manage the symptoms accompanying these diseases but cannot expect to be fully cured. By making lifestyle and behavioral changes, such as losing weight, a person lessen the pain as well as the frequency of its occurrence; but the disease will always be there and may resurface anytime.
These changes should also include exercises that have been found very beneficial to those suffering from arthritis. Undergoing physical therapy can be quite effective in relieving the pains and stiffness, improving muscle strength, and enhancing range of motion. However, this should only be done with the recommendation and advice of a health professional.