Arthritis is a very common condition. In fact, it is one of the most widespread health conditions in the United States, affecting over 54 million men and women.
What is arthritis?
Contrary to what many people think, arthritis is not a single disease. It’s a term referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and its related conditions.
The most common symptoms of arthritis are joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. The symptoms may come and go and may be mild, moderate, or severe.
Scientists are still not sure about the exact causes of most types of arthritis but they believed certain factors play a role. Factors that can increase your risk of developing arthritis include aging, genetics, gender (women are more likely to develop it), obesity, and previous joint injury.
What are the most common myths about it?
Although arthritis is very common, there’s still a lot of misinformation about the condition. These include:
- Rain and damp weather worsens arthritis.
There’s no scientific evidence that rain and humidity can worsen arthritis symptoms.
- Exercise can worsen arthritis symptoms.
Regular physical activity can actually help in easing some of the arthritis symptoms. If your arthritis acts up, a period of rest may help followed by gradual return to activity.
- Arthritis can be ‘cured’ with dietary changes.
There is no cure for arthritis. However, lifestyle changes and medications can help ease the symptoms.
- Ice is not as effective as heat for sore joints.
Both heat and cold can benefit sore joints. Cold can be applied at night to ease joint inflammation while heat can be applied in the morning to relax the muscles that move stiff joints.
- What can you do if you have arthritis?
Treatment for arthritis focuses on relieving the symptoms and improving joint function. In most cases, you may have to experiment with different treatment options to see what works best for you.
Medications like NSAIDs, analgesics, and corticosteroids can help ease some of the arthritis symptoms. Physical therapy can also be helpful for some types of arthritis. If these conservative measures don’t work, your doctor may recommend surgery.
If you are suffering from arthritis, don’t hesitate to see a specialist. Ozark Orthopaedics has expert physicians and physical therapists who can treat problems with the joints.To request for an appointment, you can contact us through this form or call (479) 521-2572.