Facts and Myths About Arthritis

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States
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Arthritis is a common condition. It is the inflammation of the tissue lining a joint or joints. Some of the symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, stiffness, fatigue and anemia.

According to Arthrosurface, arthritis affects one of every five adults and 300,000 children; it is the leading cause of disability in the United States.

The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the fingers, hips and knees, while rheumatoid arthritis affects the bones, joints and sometimes internal organs.

*Related: 5 Ways to Improve Your Bone Health

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the facts about arthritis. For instance, individuals may think that there is nothing they can do to help manage their pain. When the truth is, exercise and a healthy diet are two of the most effective treatments for alleviating arthritis-related pain.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, “a 2008 study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that sedentary individuals with arthritis (both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis) who exercised twice a week for an hour experienced significant declines in pain and fatigue and improved their ability to manage their arthritis.”

Here are some facts and myths about arthritis.

 

Fact: There is more than one kind of arthritis

There are many different types of arthritis; however, the most common types include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

Myth: There is only one kind of arthritis

 

Fact: Cracking your knuckles will not cause arthritis

Contrary to what many people believe, cracking your knuckles will not cause arthritis. Studies have shown that individuals who crack their knuckles have pretty much the same chances of developing arthritis as individuals who do not crack their knuckles. However, popping your joints does have negative side effects. It is said to weaken grip in the hands and cause inflammation.

Myth: Cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis

 

Fact: Anyone can get arthritis

Although most arthritis related issues are seen in elderly people, that does not mean they are the only ones who can be affected by it. There is actually a version of arthritis called juvenile idiopathic arthritis that occurs only in teenagers and children.

Myth: Only elderly people get arthritis

 

Fact: Your diet can have a positive impact on your arthritis pain

Believe it or not, there are foods you can eat that may help manage your arthritis pain. Inflammation is one of the key causes of pain, therefore eating foods such as broccoli, whole grains and fish may help reduce inflammation, therefore decreasing your pain.

Myth: Diet has no effect on arthritis pain

 

Fact: You should exercise even if you are in pain

Exercise helps your joints become more flexible, ultimately relieving your arthritis pain. Therefore, if your arthritis is acting up, it is advised to do moderate exercise that is gentle on your joints. Some of the best exercises for relieving arthritis pain include swimming, strength training, brisk walking, yoga and elliptical training.

Myth: You should not exercise if your arthritis is acting up

 

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