World Arthritis Day: Some Common Myths Busted

World Arthritis Day is observed every year on 12 October to raise awareness about arthritis, a condition that can affect one or more joints, causing pain, swelling and inflammation. “It is an all-encompassing term used to describe a variety of ailments rather than a specific disease. It is one of the most common health issues in the country,” said Dr. Biren Nadkarni, Senior Orthopedic Consultant and Sitaram in New Delhi The theme for 2022 is “It’s in your hands, take action”, said joint replacement surgeons from Bhartia Institute and Holy Family Hospital.

“There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, the most prevalent being osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Unlike RA, which primarily affects the immune system and joints as well as muscles, connective tissue, tendons and can damage fibrous tissue, OA is the breakdown of cartilage that protects the ends of bones. It can damage any joint including the hands, hips, knees and spine,” Dr Nadkarni told indianexpress.com .

The expert further added that despite being common, there are many myths that surround this condition; Sharing some of these, Dr Nadkarni stressed, “There is a need to eliminate them on priority basis.”

*Arthritis is a disease of old age and may not affect children.

Fact: Although there are many varieties of arthritis that can afflict both children and young adults, the condition is more prevalent in older people. Juvenile arthritis (also called childhood arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), the most common type of arthritis in children, can permanently damage the joints.

all joint pain is arthritis

Fact: Many diseases, including tendonitis, bursitis, and other soft-tissue injuries, can cause joint pain and have a pain profile similar to arthritis. Therefore, it is important to get an accurate medical diagnosis before treating any type of joint discomfort.

When you start experiencing joint pain, you should wait to see if it goes away on its own.

Fact: Absolutely false. Early detection and treatment of arthritis can save not only your joints but also other vital organs from damage. Some types, such as RA, can damage the heart, blood vessels, brain, skin, eyes, lungs, and skin. It is important to identify the type of arthritis you have as early as possible because there are many treatments available, and starting the right course of treatment can help you avoid long-term effects.

Exercising will make your condition worse.

Fact: Exercise helps reduce discomfort and swelling while increasing strength, range of motion, and flexibility. Inactivity can make symptoms worse, which can make pain and swelling worse. Before enrolling yourself in any exercise program, it’s also important to know what your limits are and what level of exercise you can benefit from.

While medications and adequate treatment are key to treating rheumatoid arthritis, certain lifestyle changes can also reduce pain in patients (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Heating pads provide relief from joint pain.

Fact: Along with ice, heat can also relieve joint pain. When applied properly, heat can reduce pain and stiffness in joints and muscles. Cold application can help reduce pain and swelling of the joints. When a joint is stiff or sore, people should apply heat before exercising. Additionally, cold can reduce pain and may be helpful if the joint is irritated, especially if there is swelling after exercise.

Hands and feet will be deformed.

Fact: Malformations can be caused by untreated and unknown arthritis. However, it can be avoided with early detection and treatment. Most patients with arthritis lead functional and productive lives.

Nadkarni said that “despite advances in medicine, there is still much to learn about arthritis”. We should be aware that by exercising and maintaining a nutritious, balanced diet, we can reduce the risk of some types of arthritis and prevent their progression, he said.

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