Disease falsehoods, just like other commonly accepted myths, tend to interfere with the actual treatment process. Whether it’s the common cold or the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the disease mythology always has its fair share. No matter which way you slice it, living with the disease can be a terrible experience and all these commonly accepted beliefs can make it even worse.
Just like other diseases, arthritis is also one of the most common health problems. The problem with arthritis is that it is quite hard to predict the signs as you never know how you will feel tomorrow. Further, the development pattern of the disease can vary from person to person. Apart from the current state, future worries can add to the troubles.
Common myths about arthritis
Putting it simply, arthritis is basically the joint inflammation and soreness that can be quite painful. I’ve gone through a similar experience and honestly speaking, it wasn’t easy to deal with the problem. From visiting general physicians to going to the best orthopedic surgeon in Karachi, I’ve seen it all. Based on my experience, I can say that this false information was as problematic as the disease itself.
For your convenience, I’m going to debunk some of the common myths about arthritis including:
1- Arthritis is a single disease
As per common belief, arthritis is commonly considered as joint pain. But in turn, the term arthritis refers to more than 100 joints and bones related diseases. The type of arthritis can be different for patients and can be associated with different signs and symptoms as well as causes. So, generalizing arthritis as a single disease is not a good option.
2- Damp conditions can make your arthritis worse
Well, it is commonly believed that damp season can trigger arthritis pain. One possible explanation says that our joints expand due to a decrease in barometric pressure which can result in joint pain. However, there is not enough evidence to support this claim and till now there exists no explanation behind this.
3- Rest is the best solution for arthritis pain!
Arthritis pain can be different for different people; some people might suffer from mild pain while for others it is just unbearable. Most of the time, it is said that you need to have complete bed rest to relieve your pain. But the reality is totally opposite and contrary to this popular belief, physical activity is proven effective against arthritis pain.
I went to Hill Park general Hospital in Karachi for arthritis treatment and the physician asked me to get physiotherapy to relieve my pain. After a few sessions, I realized that physiotherapy relieved my symptoms better than physical inactivity.
4- Arthritis is an old age disease
As I already discussed that term arthritis refers to nearly 100 different types of disease that can’t be categorized with respect to age. Counter to the popular belief that arthritis is only found in older people, the disease can occur in people from all age groups. However, you age, genetics and lifestyle habits can account as the major risk factors for the disease.
5- Heat is better than ice!
Use of heat and cold has been proven to reduce inflammation but in case of arthritis, it is often said that use of cold is ineffective. But there is no truth behind it as both cold and cold are equally effective in the treatment of arthritis and can help to relieve the symptom to a greater extent.
6- Arthritis is inescapable
Although our genes, age and other factors can be important risk factors for arthritis but are not necessary for the onset of disease. So, having the disease in your genes and progressive ageing doesn’t mean that you will end up with arthritis. The onset of the disease depends upon both genetic and environmental factors. So, you can do several things to prevent the disease from changing your lifestyle habits to monitoring your health conditions properly.
7- Cracking knuckles can cause arthritis
Popping your knuckles is often associated with the onset of the disease but there is no proven association among both.
Arthritis is a common health problem associated with many risk factors. However, good lifestyle practices and proper medication can make the disease manageable.