Arthritis; Myth or Fact?

man touching his knee in pain while loved one is there to comfort him

The myths about arthritis are numerous. Some of them are so prevalent that they keep older adults who live with the disease from seeking the proper advice needed to help relieve the pain and symptoms of the disease. We will evaluate some of the most common myths and share the facts behind the misconceptions.

Debunking Arthritis Myths

MYTH: Arthritis affects everyone the same.

FACT: There are many different types of arthritis. While Osteoarthritis is the most common type in older adults, there are other forms of the disease. They include Raynaud’s phenomenon, Rheumatoid Arthritis, gout and more.

MYTH: Glucosamine supplements can help rebuild joint damage.

FACT: Infomercials on television make this popular myth appear to be true. It is not. While these supplements sometimes offer short-term pain relief, they do not cure arthritis nor do they rebuild joints.

MYTH: People with arthritis should take it easy and not participate in sports or exercise programs.

FACT: Daily exercise is actually one of the best ways to relieve the pain and symptoms arthritis causes. No-impact forms of exercise that include a good range-of-motion can help keep joints limber and flexible. This in turn helps strengthen the muscles around a damaged joint. It can also aid in controlling the swelling and inflammation that creates pain for arthritis sufferers.

MYTH: Diet doesn’t affect my arthritis so if I want to eat comfort foods when I’m in pain I will.

FACT: Diet actually does play an extremely important role. First, unhealthy eating habits often cause obesity. Every ten pounds of extra weight you carry around puts between thirty and sixty pounds of added pressure on your knee. In addition, fried, salty and sugary foods can all contribute to inflammation, making the pain of arthritis worsen.

MYTH: There is no point in seeing the doctor about my arthritis. There isn’t a cure for it, so there isn’t anything they can do.

FACT: Rheumatologists specialize in diseases that impact joints and muscles. Developing a relationship with one of these physicians is the best way to learn how to treat the pain and symptoms of arthritis and improve your quality of life.