Did you know that arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the US today? Here are a few astounding facts:
- More than 40 million Americans have been diagnosed with arthritis
- There are more than 100 forms of this crippling disease
- It affects an estimated 53 million adults and 300,000 children
Spearheaded by the Arthritis Foundation, National Arthritis Awareness Month aims to make people more aware of arthritis and the issues involved. The month of May is recognized each year to motivate Americans to get up and moving, while raising funds for arthritis research, support and advocacy.
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The first steps in conquering arthritis are understanding the condition and knowing there are resources to help. Here are 4 Common Myths to help dispel some of the most common misconceptions about arthritis.
Myth 1 – Arthritis only affects the elderly
Arthritis does not discriminate- it can happen at any age. The most common type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis, a condition caused by wear and tear on the joints over time. Osteoarthritis is more prevalent in older adults, however other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis caused by joint inflammation can happen at any age. Juvenile arthritis, an autoimmune disease, occurs in children.
Myth 2 – You should avoid exercise if you have arthritis
Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. Regular exercise helps keep arthritis in check and diminish some of its worst symptoms. Exercise increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue.
What type of exercise you do depends on the type of arthritis and the specific symptoms you have. There are many exercise programs designed for arthritis patients that allow you to exercise effectively without damaging already painful joints. Whatever program you choose, check with your doctor, don’t overdo it, and let the instructor know if you’re having any difficulty.
Myth 3 – All joint pain is arthritis
Having swollen, achy joints doesn’t necessarily mean you have arthritis. There are several other conditions that can cause joint pain such as tendonitis and bursitis, as well as other soft-tissue injuries. If you are experiencing joint pain, you should consult with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis and treatment.
Myth 4 – There is no treatment for arthritis
There are many things you can do to help ease the symptoms and pain of arthritis. Diet, exercise, natural remedies and medications can all help. Over the counter medications and prescription medications can help too. If joint pain or damage is so severe that medication isn’t working, surgery to replace joints or improve alignment may be recommended.
Here at Oh My Arthritis we are dedicated in helping support the cause and fight for those with arthritis– in hopes of finding better treatments and ultimately a cure!
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