3 Arthritis Myths You Should be Aware Of

Most of us know someone who suffers with arthritis, or possibly even have a case of it ourselves. What you may not know is the truth about arthritis and its impacts. Orthopedic care specialists hear these misconceptions about the disease often enough to warrant some clarity.

Age Stereotypes

When you think of arthritis, you may picture your grandparents, older adults, and senior citizens. The truth is that arthritis can strike people in any age group, even children. While osteoarthritis may be more common in older adults due to bone density deterioration, it is only one of many types of arthritis. Arthritic inflammation may be caused by activity, genetics, other health conditions, medications, and pure biology, but age itself is not a large factor in the development of the disease.

Knuckle Cracking

Habitual knuckle-crackers have heard the same warning over and over — “You’ll get arthritis if you keep cracking your knuckles.” Though multiple studies have been conducted to determine any link between the two, no concrete link has been substantiated. Be aware however that continued knuckle cracking may eventually cause damage to the tendons and ligaments in your hands as it stretches these tissues past their typical range.

Arthritics Cannot Exercise

This is perhaps the most common misconception in orthopedic care. Arthritis patients often feel that they cannot exercise for fear of extreme pain or further joint damage. In actuality, exercise is excellent for helping joints perform more fluidly and comfortably. A key factor in laying out an exercise plan is to be cautious of the type of exercise chosen. For example, high impact aerobics would not be healthy activities for an arthritis patient, but swimming would. Choosing joint friendly activities such as yoga, Tai Chi, and aquatics is a great strategy for arthritis management. Your orthopedic care specialist should be involved in creating an exercise plan, as should your medical doctor.

If you or someone you love is suffering with arthritis, it’s important to understand which type is involved and become educated on treatments, management strategies, and pain control. Talk to your orthopedic care provider for more information on arthritis.

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