Arthritis is not only associated with the pain and stiffness that people experience in their joints. This condition is way more complex and is also termed as an umbrella for any kind of pain or disease in joints. There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis and conditions related to it, and even infants can develop it. If you feel you are experiencing any sort of discomfort or pain in your joints, you should talk to a doctor online. It is better to consult a doctor instead of believing any myths associated with arthritis. Yes, there are many myths about arthritis that can keep people away from getting the right treatment.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is basically an inflammation of the joints, which affects one or multiple joints. In the United States, there are about 50 million people suffering from arthritis. It is also the top cause of disability in the United States. Out of over 100 different types of arthritis, two of the most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While in most cases, the symptoms of arthritis develop over time, sometimes they can also appear suddenly.
It’s a common condition, still many people do not understand this condition completely. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions and myths surrounding arthritis that people believe. Living with a lifelong disease such as arthritis is very difficult in itself. But having some stigmas and misunderstandings about it can make it even more difficult. So, it becomes even important for people to learn the truth behind these myths. In this article, we will discuss all the myths surrounding arthritis and learn what’s true. Let’s get into it.
Myth 1. Arthritis affects only older people
Most people believe that arthritis is just a part of aging, like grey hair. But this is not true at all. According to stats, people older than 55 are four times more likely to suffer from arthritis than younger people. By the age of 80, more than 50 percent of women and about 40 percent of men tend to develop this condition. Still saying that only older people suffer from arthritis is absolutely wrong.
Children can also have it and they grow up with it. It is a horrible disease, and there are children that suffer from it. It can strike any person of any age, even the infants. Some types of arthritis such as inflammatory arthritis can affect people of any age. More than 300,000 children in the United States are right now suffering from this condition. One in 1000 children including teenagers who are under the age of 16 suffers from arthritis.
Myth 2. Arthritis is not a serious condition
This is absolutely wrong. People suffering from arthritis experience pain in both the joints and the pocketbook. Reports say that arthritis is one of the top chronic conditions in the United States that affects a lot of people. And some types of arthritis can be fatal as well. This brings us to our next point.
Myth 3. If the effects of arthritis are not visible, it is not too serious
Just because a person suffering from arthritis looks fine on the outside, doesn’t mean the person is not in pain. Signs of some types of arthritis are visible, but there are some types that may not cause visible symptoms. Some symptoms are perhaps subtle ones that can even be covered by clothing. Sometimes, it becomes hard to even notice a sign of arthritis with a quick glance.
Visible symptoms may include swelling, permanent joint changes, and decreased range of motion. But, it does not matter, whether the symptoms are visible or not, you need to take this condition seriously. You can talk to a doctor online and discuss the symptoms you are experiencing to learn more about them.
Myth 4. Arthritis only affects the joints
Many people still think that arthritis only affects the joints of the person suffering from it. But this cannot be further from the truth. There are more symptoms associated with arthritis than just joint pain. These are sluggishness, fatigue, and brain fog. Even some medical professionals overlook the symptoms other than the pain in the joints.
Sufferers may experience problems in muscles, tendons, bones and bursa, and connective tissue. Some systemic conditions such as lupus can even affect the vital organs of the body. Some kinds of arthritis can have a negative impact on the eyes, heart, kidneys, skin, and lungs. Other than these, living with arthritis can also play a toll on your mental and emotional health. It can cause depression, anger, sudden weight loss, disturbed sleep cycle. Living with chronic pain can be very stressful psychologically.
Myth 5. There is the only type of arthritis
All arthritis is not the same, and have different symptoms. As I mentioned above, there are over 100 types of arthritis. Each type of arthritis is caused by a different factor and has different symptoms. These different types of arthritis affect certain joints, tissues, or even the entire body.
The most common type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis. It can often lead to deterioration of cartilage in the hands, knees, hips, and feet. Another type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which causes autoimmune disorders. In this, the body starts attacking its own healthy tissues. It is very important to know the difference between various types of arthritis to get proper medication and treatment.
Myth 6. Pain relievers are the only treatment available for arthritis
I have heard this one a lot of times, and it is wrong. Taking pain-relieving medications for osteoarthritis can be helpful. And many people use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage the inflammation.
While all these medications may help you, they are not the only options you have to manage the symptoms associated with arthritis. Physical and occupational therapy can be a great way to improve your mobility and flexibility. It can also make it easier for you to do everyday hobbies and activities in a more enjoyable way. In some cases, surgery is required. This surgery is done to get rid of all or part of an affected joint. But, you do not need to choose the option of surgery unless it is required. You can also find relief from massage or acupuncture. Some guided imagery techniques and laughter can also help you deal with symptoms of arthritis.