Osteoarthritis Myths and Facts
Bats are blind, touching a toad gives you warts, and arthritis occurs naturally with aging. Each of these old beliefs is myths and they have survived because it is repeated often enough to begin sounding like fact. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, it’s simple to see how small pieces of misinformation can develop over time. Here are some facts about common arthritis fictions.
Is Arthritis simply a part of aging? Myth or Fact?
Myth. Aging means living with joint pain.
Fact. According to Patience H. White, MC (vice president of public health for the Arthritis Foundation) says, greater than 25 million people living with arthritis in the United States are under the age of 65. Older people aren’t the only ones who get arthritis.
As you become older, you may become more susceptible to Osteoarthritis (OA) – the most common form of arthritis. Although we can not stop aging, there is a lot we can do about risks of OA factors addressing this “wear and tear” disease.
Can you prevent osteoarthritis? Myth or Fact?
Myth. OA is genetic. You have increased chances of having OA if your parents have it.
Fact. You can minimize the risk of developing OA
Obesity can have a large contribution of factors towards developing OA of the knee. As such, the heavier you are the more stress you put on your joints. For each additional pound of weight, 3-4 pounds of force occur in the knee joint. By maintaining a healthier weight you can lower your chances of gaining weight.
Overuse or injury can increase your risk of developing OA, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Athletes and individuals with professions that require repetitive motion have a higher risk of developing OA because of joint stress and injury. High intensity athletes in sports activities that directly impact joints can have an increase risk of OA.
Muscle weakness is another potential risk factor of OA. Specifically, weakness of the muscles surrounding the knee can raise your risks of injury and knee OA.
Stop being physically active when you have arthritis. Myth or Fact?
Myth. You should not or can’t exercise when you have OA.
Fact. You should be active when you have arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation suggests appropriate physical activities to decrease your OA pain. These activities can improve range of motion, function, and reduce disability. In turn, regular activity can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight range. The key is to capture benefits of exercise and protect your joints. Low impact activities like biking, walking, and aquatic activities can help you achieve this.
Dropping as little as 5 pounds can make a large difference to OA symptoms. Myth or Fact?
Myth. Unless you lose significant weight, your OA symptoms will not improve.
Fact. Each pound you gain, you may add 3-4 pounds of pressure across your knee joints. So, even a small drop in weight can translate to positive changes in pressure on the knee joints therefore reducing OA symptoms and pain.
Arthritis is not a serious health issue. Myth or Fact?
Myth. Arthritis is not a serious health issue.
Fact. Arthritis affects about one in every 5 adults in the United States, and it is the most common cause of disability.
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