3 Arthritis Myths and Misconceptions

Arthritis is a very common problem for Americans. From 2013-2015, approximately 23% of US adults had been diagnosed with some form of arthritis! While manageable, arthritis is a serious issue that can affect a patient’s quality of life.

Because of this, knowing the facts about arthritis is critical for getting the right treatment. Unfortunately, a lot of old wive’s tales and popular misconceptions about arthritis still persist. Today we’d like to squash some of those myths.

Arthritis Only Affects Old People

This myth is rooted in truth. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which results from the degeneration of cartilage in a joint. Because this affects so many seniors, it is likely the source of this myth.

That said, arthritis comes in over 100 varieties, many of which can affect any age group. For instance, juvenile idiopathic arthritis can affect children as young as six months!

“Weather Affects Arthritis”

You may have heard the old wive’s tale that people with arthritis know when rain is coming. While there is a plausible theory to this (a drop in barometric pressure), the myth has often expanded to claim that cold, rainy weather can cause arthritis.

Obviously this isn’t true, or else all the retirees in Florida or California would get off scot-free! With that said, warmth can be soothing for arthritic joints.

Exercise Makes Arthritis Worse

This myth is also understandable: if moving causes pain, the natural conclusion is to avoid movement, right? It couldn’t be further from the truth: regular exercise might be the single best treatment for arthritis!

Obviously arthritis patients shouldn’t just hop on the squat rack and lift a couple hundred pounds right out of the gate. Proper form is essential, and routines should focus on a slow, careful ramp-up to full activity. But when executed carefully, exercise can significantly improve your quality of life.

Do you suffer from arthritis? Physical therapy can help! When part of a comprehensive treatment regimen, physical therapy can restore your range of motion, alleviate pain, and improve your quality of life. Contact Physical Therapy Partners today and learn how we can keep you moving.