If you are wondering what is degenerative arthritis, otherwise called Osteoarthritis, it’s a chronic condition that can affect people of all ages, but it’s most common after 60 years.
There are many types of arthritis, and one, in particular, is osteoarthritis. Many myths surround the etiology and treatment of osteoarthritis. Below are some of the top myths about osteoarthritis.
1. Myth: Osteoarthritis just means old age
Actually there’s no clear correlation between arthritis and aging. Arthritis affects people from all different backgrounds, not just seniors or those active throughout their lives. Children may be affected by arthritis.
The only thing that correlates with osteoarthritis is joint damage from injury or trauma, but this isn’t common to everyone with osteoarthritis.
2. Myth: Osteoarthritis always affects weight-bearing joints
The most common joint in people with arthritis is the knee. Still, osteoarthritis can affect any joint and any area of the body. It’s not just limited to weight-bearing joints like hips and knees. It can also affect fingers, elbows, and shoulders.
3. Myth: Osteoarthritis is a condition that is curable
Unfortunately, there is no definite cure for osteoarthritis. The only way to treat osteoarthritis is by controlling its symptoms and treating any other conditions that might interfere with or exacerbate it.
Myth: Osteoarthritis affects men more than women
As mentioned above, osteoarthritis can affect anyone, men and women alike. However, the risk of arthritis does seem to be higher for those who are obese than those with a healthy weight. Obesity puts more stress on joints. Plus, certain arthritic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are more prevalent in women than men.
5. Myth: Cracking The Knuckles Causes Osteoarthritis
There’s no evidence to suggest that cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. However, the habit of frequently cracking one’s joints is known as joint hypermobility.
6. Myth: Osteoarthritis is Fatal
While osteoarthritis can be debilitating, it is not fatal. However, some rare conditions may develop alongside arthritis, like ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis causes inflammation in the spine and could lead to serious complications if left untreated.
7. Myth: Osteoarthritis is not affected by diet
While there is no scientific evidence that certain foods can help treat arthritis. However, eating a balanced diet and avoiding junk food are important. It may also be worth trying out supplements like glucosamine or chondroitin, which are commonly used to manage osteoarthritis symptoms.
8. Osteoarthritis is hereditary
While there is a hereditary factor in osteoarthritis, it’s not as strong as many people make out. Most cases are caused by previous injury or trauma, leading to changes within the joints that cause arthritis.
9. The Weather Worsens Osteoarthritis
There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that the weather has any direct effect on osteoarthritis. However, suppose you’re feeling achy and find your arthritis flaring up after spending time outside in the cold. In that case, it could be because you’ve got poor circulation or have not taken care of yourself properly.
10. People with Osteoarthritis Should not Exercise
Exercise can be beneficial to those with osteoarthritis as it increases strength and flexibility, builds muscle mass, helps support affected joints, and improves overall fitness. However, specific exercises like running and jogging might put too much pressure on the joints, worsening things.
Additionally, weight-bearing exercises like walking or jogging might not suit those with osteoarthritis in the hips and knees as these joints bear most of our body weight. Swimming is a great alternative. Swimming is low impact, so less likely to aggravate hip pain caused by osteoarthritis.
Before you believe these myths, get in touch with joint care experts like Joint Academy to diagnose and treat your joint related problems.