Arthritis is defined as the swelling or tenderness of one or more of the joints. In the United States, 23% of adults have some form of this condition. Considering this percentage amounts to more than 54 million people having arthritis, it’s not surprising that myths have formed and continue to circulate surrounding this common condition. In order to supply information that can help you with your arthritis, it’s important to know what is fact, and what is fiction. In this blog, we aim to debunk the top five myths about arthritis and educate you on tried and true treatment plans.
1. Joint Pain = Arthritis
While the primary symptoms of arthritis include joint pain and stiffness, not all joint pain is indicative of arthritis. Various other conditions including tendonitis, sprains, and bursitis can all lead to swelling and pain around the joints. Visiting a specialist at Paris Orthopedics can help determine what is causing your joint pain.
2. Arthritis only occurs in the elderly
While the risk of arthritis increases with age, it can occur at any age. In fact, juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children. Some of the primary arthritis risk factors are completely unrelated to age, such as family history, obesity, and previous joint damage.
3. Exercising is bad for your arthritis
Arthritis may make exercise more difficult, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop exercising. In fact, the opposite is true. Staying active can actually help manage pain associated with arthritis. The CDC recommends that adults with arthritis should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. Walking, aerobics and elliptical training are all examples of weight-bearing activities that can help treat arthritis.
4. Arthritis can’t be prevented or treated
While there are certain risk factors that cannot be prevented or avoided when it comes to arthritis, there are ways to delay the onset of certain types of arthritis and to reduce your overall risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, wearing proper protective sports equipment, and practicing good form during physical activity can all help to prevent certain types of arthritis. If you currently have arthritis, there are ways to treat the condition or to help manage symptoms. A specialist at Paris Orthopedics can help you determine certain lifestyle changes, medications or vitamins that can work for you.
5. Heat is better for arthritis than ice
Both heat and cold can be useful for arthritis. Heat can help relax the muscles and relieve joint stiffness, and cold can help to reduce inflammation and pain. While you can opt for whatever feels comfortable, oftentimes alternating between heat and cold, or using heat in the morning and cold at night can be effective in reducing joint pain associated with arthritis.
Consult an Orthopedic Specialist
The team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you have questions about joint pain, arthritis, or treatment plans, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.