Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. It is no wonder that most people are familiar with the disease. The joint pain and inflammation that comes with arthritis can be debilitating. Many of us have seen someone suffer these symptoms. At the same time we have likely been exposed to a lot of myths about arthritis.
Most people are aware that arthritis attacks the joints of the body. The hands, hips and knees are common target areas for the disease. Joint pain, inflammation, a burning sensation, and even disfiguration of the fingers are part of the symptoms. Arthritis is common among the elderly.
Myths About Arthritis and Joint Pain
A common myth is that arthritis is a disease that only impacts older people. The fact is, nearly two-thirds of Americans who suffer from arthritis are under the age of 65. A recent study shows the disease affects one in every 250 children. Osteoarthritis tends to afflict older people, but rheumatoid and psoriatic can strike at any age.
You have likely heard that cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis. Scientists say this is one of the biggest myths about the condition. Several studies have been conducted to determine if joint pain or inflammation can be connected to cracking of the knuckles and so far no link has been found. Some research seems to indicate that cracking on a regular basis may make it more difficult to grip items than those who do not crack their knuckles, but again there is no association with any specific disease or pain related symptoms.
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If a person has arthritis they may not be as active as they used to be. It all depends on how much pain they are experiencing. It does not mean; however, that they can’t exercise. It is a myth that exercise is bad for people who suffer from arthritis. While some exercise may exacerbate the pain, rheumatologists say light exercise will help joint mobility, and strengthen tissue and muscles, which will improve movement in the long run.
Food can also improve movement so the idea that diet has nothing to do with arthritis is a myth as well. Nutritionists say that those who suffer from the condition can do well on a Mediterranean diet. Olive oil, fish and lean meats also tend to be good.
Arthritis Has Many Faces
It is a misconception that arthritis is arthritis. The reality is that is has many faces; it comes in many different forms. This means that if you suspect you have the disease, don’t try to treat it on your own; get properly diagnosed. Rheumatologists at Stanford University School of Medicine say there are 100 different versions of arthritis and related conditions. Each has to be treated differently.
Over 46 million people in the United States alone have arthritis or some other rheumatic condition. By 2030 the number of arthritis cases is expected to rise by 40%.