Myths and Facts about Arthritis

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in adults in the United States, according to the Arthritis Foundation, and it’s conservatively estimated that 54 million Americans currently suffer from this painful condition. Based on estimates, that number is expected to grow to 78 million over the next 20 years. 

Our orthopedic surgical expert, Dr. Arash Dini, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and has helped many of his patients get relief from their joint pain using innovative techniques and therapies. Though an experienced surgeon, Dr. Dini only recommends surgery after medical treatments fail to relieve pain.

Given his experience and expertise, Dr. Dini knows many people have misconceptions about arthritis that delay diagnosis and treatment and increases the risk of long-term health complications and disability. To help you better understand the condition, he wants to share some of the common myths and facts about arthritis.

Myth: Arthritis is a disease

Fact: Arthritis isn’t a single disease.

Arthritis is a term used to indicate joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. There are over 100 types of arthritis and conditions that lead to arthritis. Though the joint pain can develop from a range of causes, the most common include:

Osteoarthritis

Of the 54 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis, 31 million have osteoarthritis. Referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis, this joint pain develops because of the degeneration of cartilage between your joints. Without cartilage, your bones rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation. 

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the noted joint pain and inflammation because your immune cells attack and destroy the lining of your joint capsule. If left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis may destroy the cartilage and bone in the affected joint.

Gout, psoriatic arthritis, and septic arthritis are other types of arthritis. 

Myth: Arthritis only affects the elderly

Fact: Arthritis can develop at any age. 

According to the Arthritis Foundation, 300,000 babies and children have some form of arthritis or a rheumatic condition. Athletes are also at greater risk of developing arthritis due to overuse of their joints and sports injuries.

Your risk of developing joint pain and inflammation increases as you get older due to the general wear and tear that occurs over time that leads to osteoarthritis. 

Myth: I should wait to see the doctor for joint pain

Fact: Delaying care for joint pain may make things worse and increase the risk of permanent damage.

Joint pain can develop from many causes and shouldn’t be ignored, especially if the pain developed after an unexpected injury or has been an ongoing problem. Ignoring your pain and skipping treatment may worsen your condition and delay your recovery.

Additionally, we offer many innovative treatments for arthritis, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and stem cell therapy, to stimulate the healing and growth of new tissue to improve joint health and function. 

Myth: Exercise worsens arthritis

Fact: Exercise is one of the most effective treatments for alleviating arthritis pain.

When your joints are swollen and tender, you may think that rest is the best treatment. But not using your arthritic joint may make things worse. Exercise decreases joint pain by improving the flexibility and strength of the muscles that surround the joint. It also helps with weight control. Carrying excess body weight places excess stress on your joints and increases the degenerative process. 

Early diagnosis and treatment of your arthritis may prevent the joint-related complications that keep you from enjoying every moment of your life. To learn more about our innovative treatments for arthritis, contact us by phone or online today. 

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