In keeping with many illnesses, health disorders and medical conditions that affect a large number of people, certain myths are created often through ignorance or the need to somehow explain away misconceptions about them.
Arthritis is no exception and has its own collection of false assumptions associated with it.
The myths themselves are not such a problem, but anyone believing in them could potentially do themselves more harm than good by not seeking the truth and instead acting upon bad advice in seeking treatment.
It is important that when you start to experience the symptoms of joint pain that the first point of call should be your doctor.
An early diagnosis can save a great deal of pain and suffering by enabling the commencement of the appropriate treatment to not only relieve the pain but also to help prevent the further degeneration that could possibly result from the lack of any treatment.
Here are some common myths that can be set to rights:
Myth: Arthritis is a Temporary Ailment
Truth: Most forms of arthritis are long term and severe. It is the second most crippling condition in the United States after heart disease. Without treatment, the disease becomes chronic and can last for the rest of a person's life.
Fortunately, great inroads are being made in finding new treatments that can relieve the pain and slow the rate of degeneration so that the sufferer can lead a relatively normal life. There are also several natural treatments for arthritis that have healing effects and in the case of the use of a holistic approach to overall health, can even bring the disease into remission.
Myth: Arthritis is a Woman's Disease
Truth: While it is more common in women of all age groups, arthritis also affects men of all ages. In the United States statistics put women sufferers of all the common types of arthritis at around 65% of the population.
Myth: Arthritis is a Single Disease
Truth: The name itself is derived from the ancient Greek language which translates as "joint inflammation," but it actually describes over a hundred different forms of joint related conditions as well as those that cause muscular pain.
Myth: Arthritis is Just Joint Pain
Truth: Painful, swollen joints are the typical symptom of this disease, it must be remembered that it is a symptom and not the actual disease itself. There are other symptoms which are also associated with this condition that includes swelling and inflammation of the joints and muscle tissue, tenderness of the affected area, stiffness of the joints and lack of mobility, some redness and heat localized in the affected area.
The disease relates to the degeneration or wearing down of the joints and also in the breaking up and erosion of cartilage that surrounds joints while in rheumatoid arthritis and gout there is erosion and acidification of the tender synovial membrane that protects the joints themselves.
Myth: Arthritis is Only an Old People's Disease
Truth: This disease is more prevalent in the over-60s than in the rest of the population, but it is also possible to suffer from it at any age, from childhood through teenage years to young adulthood and middle age. Osteoarthritis is more common in the elderly due to its main feature being the aging and time-related erosion of the cartilage and joints.
However, even this form can occur in younger people. Especially athletes and those who have a long history of tough workouts involving stress training, weights and resistance training where the joints bear the brunt of the load.
The best way of managing this disease is through education and understanding. While nobody ever died from ignorance, a lack of understanding is the cause of much unnecessary suffering where treatments exist that can relieve pain and discomfort for most sufferers of the condition.
By gaining knowledge of the difference between myths and truths, you can be better placed to work with your doctor in obtaining the correct diagnosis and treatment for your personal circumstances. It also allows you to work with such of those natural forms of treatment that don't rely on powerful drugs to bring relief and peace of mind.
- Terry Didcott
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Posted on Thu, 06 Sep 2012 in Arthritis | 0 Comments