Tens of millions of Americans are affected by arthritis. Although plenty of excellent information about the disease is readily available online and elsewhere, several myths remain attached to the condition.
Some of the most common misconceptions about arthritis include the following:
Misconception #1: “Only older people get arthritis”
The risk of arthritis does increase as we grow older – about half of all people over 65 have some form of the disease. However, many arthritis sufferers are young adults and children.
People of all ages can be at risk for the various forms of arthritis. Younger people can be susceptible to juvenile arthritis and certain types of rheumatic conditions.
The most common form of arthritis seen across all age groups is osteoarthritis, also known as simply “arthritis.” That’s because it can be caused by repetitive motion and other activity-based injuries.
Misconception #2: “You can’t prevent arthritis”
Although it’s not completely preventable, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing arthritis or to reduce the severity of your arthritis, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Engaging in regular exercise
- Avoiding tobacco and other drugs
- Warming up, cooling down, and using proper protective gear while playing sports
- Consuming a healthy diet
- Getting enough sleep
Misconception #3: “There isn’t much you can do about arthritis”
Although a cure for arthritis is not here yet, during the past two decades the benefits of treating arthritis have increased – and disease management has become a reality. Earlier diagnosis and new medical advances can help you manage your arthritis with less impact on your daily activities.
A treatment plan that is geared specifically for your own body – centered on your specific anatomy, health history, and type of arthritis – can be tailored by an orthopedic physician.
Misconception #4: “Your arthritis will go away with time”
A timely diagnosis and early intervention are needed to help keep the disease from causing debilitating effects. Joint symptoms should always be taken seriously, as joint damage can occur in as little as a year with some types of arthritis. Plus, arthritis can also affect important organs such as the heart and liver.
Misconception #5: “You can’t stay fit with arthritis”
People used to believe that once you developed arthritis, an active lifestyle was out of the question. Actually, you should indeed stay physically active to better manage arthritic conditions and maintain strong muscles to support your joints.
The right activities, as suggested by your doctor, can be helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Supervised exercises or activities, such as those recommended by a physical therapist, can help you maintain the range of motion and function of your joints.
Orthopedic Surgeons in South Florida
The expert staff at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches is ready to provide you with the facts about arthritis. We can help you better understand your joint condition, and we will recommend some excellent solutions to help reduce your pain and help you maintain an active lifestyle.
Contact our office today at (561) 733-5888 or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you.