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5 Myths about Arthritis
07.24.14 Thursday
Arthritis is a hot topic these days and the World Wide Web is not short on information regarding all types of arthritis and the many things that can go wrong.  It’s hard to weed out what is accurate and what is just plain crazy talk! Here are five myths about Arthritis…
  1. Arthritis is Arthritis.  Well, the name Arthritis comes from the Greek work Arthro which means, joint and -itis, means inflammation.  So, Arthritis is just a general term for joint inflammation.  There are actually more than 100 different types of Arthritis and they can all be caused from something different, such as genetics, viruses, auto-immune disorders or other diseases that cause secondary joint pain.  Not all arthritis is treated the same. Though many symptoms overlap from type to type, treatment can be altogether different so always check with your doctor, not your neighbor’s friend who has achy hands in the morning as well.
  2. Your Diet Has Nothing To Do With Your Arthritis.  That is so far from the truth!  So many foods we eat are acidic and inflammatory and add to the irritation around our joints.  Some of the biggest culprits for adding pain to our joints are carbonated and caffeinated beverages.  Processed foods, sugar and high fat diets can also increase our joint pain.  Remember a healthy, well-nourished body is able to heal itself better.  Even an imbalance in ‘good’ things can create problems for us.  If you need help getting your diet back on track, visit your doctor or nutritionist and come up with a working plan to decrease pain.
  3. Exercise will stress your joints.   It seems counterintuitive but movement and gentle exercise is exactly what your joints need.  Joints were made to move, not to be stagnant.  Living a sedentary lifestyle because you have arthritis is only letting the disease win!  You don’t have to take up marathons, just start out slow with some low impact exercises like walking or swimming.  Exercises that involve a great deal of range of motion are best.  Strengthening the muscles around the joints helps decrease pain and decrease deterioration that can come from arthritis.
  4. Cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis.  No matter what your mom said, this is false.  Sorry MOM!  There is no hard and fast data to back this up.  So…crack away!
  5. Acupuncture and natural remedies will cure arthritis.  This is not entirely true…while some natural treatments can help reduce pain; there is no proven cure for any arthritis.  These options won’t hurt, typically speaking and if they bring relief, then they are worth a try.  So much depends on the type of arthritis you have.  As is the case in most things in life, balance is the key to good health and pain free living.
Your Upper Extremity Hand specialists, like the providers at Idaho Hand Institute can provide you with accurate information regarding your arthritis and give you even more advice and tips on living a good life, even with Arthritis.
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