There are a lot of myths about osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. And what you don’t know might actually hurt you. The more you know about osteoarthritis, the more empowered you are to treat it.
Osteoarthritis is a very common disorder, affecting 1 in 4 people in the United States. Often referred to as the "wear and tear" arthritis, it’s a degenerative condition of the bones and joints that can cause pain, swelling and limited movements of your joint.
The providers at Nutura Clinic in Portland, Oregon, have many years of experience treating this condition and can help you find relief. Read on to learn more about osteoarthritis.
Myth: Osteoarthritis is a normal part of aging
Fact: Osteoarthritis can happen to anyone of any age, even teenagers. Although it’s often common in older adults, it’s not a fact of life, and you don’t have to accept it as inevitable.
In fact, you can do a lot to prevent osteoarthritis — even if you’ve already begun to show signs of it. Regular exercise, following a healthy diet, and trying to maintain a healthy weight can do a lot to reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Myth: Osteoarthritis isn’t that serious
Fact: The severity of osteoarthritis can vary among individuals. Some people may only have mild osteoarthritis, while others have severe enough cases that their mobility is seriously limited. Osteoarthritis can even cause disability and require joint replacements, including your knees and hips.
It’s also a fact that osteoarthritis can get worse over time if you don’t do the right things to take action now. Even if you currently only experience an achy knee, it could get worse in the future, even to the point of requiring joint replacements.
Myth: Exercise will make your joints hurt worse
Fact: Having osteoarthritis might sound like you have the perfect excuse to spend your time sitting in a recliner. When your joints are swollen and inflamed, the last thing you might want to do is put pressure on them.
But getting regular exercise can actually relieve the pain and swelling in your joints. And you don’t have to do any type of extreme exercise to reap the benefits; even a simple walk or swim is often enough to keep your joints mobile and your body flexible.
Myth: If your job doesn’t require repetitive motions, you won’t get osteoarthritis
Fact: While it’s true that certain jobs that require repetitive motions are more likely to cause osteoarthritis, you can still develop the condition without having such a job. Even if you have a desk job, you can still be at risk.
However, you can do a lot to minimize your risk if you have a desk job by getting up every hour or so to stretch your muscles and walk around for a bit.
Myth: You can’t prevent osteoarthritis
Fact: You can actually do a lot to prevent osteoarthritis from happening to you, even if you have known risk factors like a family history or you’re a female over the age of 50. The most important factor that you can control is your weight.
Being overweight or obese is significantly more likely to increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. If you’re carrying a few too many extra pounds, managing your weight can help. Even losing a few pounds is shown to reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
If you have osteoarthritis, you don’t have to suffer alone or try to manage your symptoms however you can. It’s always a good idea to see a doctor. Contact the providers at Nutura Clinic today to schedule a consultation. Call our office or book an appointment online.