Got Arthritis? Here's Our top 5 myths about it.

Fun fact: There is more arthritis today than there has EVER been throughout history. Yet we're more inactive than ever.

Should we really be calling it "wear & tear"...?

When somebody refers to the term “arthritis”, it’s likely they’re talking about Osteoarthritis (OA). This variation of arthritis is commonly miscommunicated as “wear & tear” as we age, leading to joint pain & stiffness. But is this really what’s going on?

Read on as we discuss the top 5 myths associated with osteoarthritis!

 

Osteoarthritis especially effects weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hips & ankles. Credit: 6CO

Myth #1: We can rely on scans

Sadly no. Scans can not and do not predict your level of pain or disability regardless of how severe the arthritis may appear on an image. Almost everybody beyond the age of 30 will show signs of degeneration or what we’d prefer to call “normal ageing” on an x-ray.

Myth #2: Rest is best

Rest or avoiding activities completely can actually make pain worse in the long run. Ultimately the current evidence tells us that exposure to exercise is the best possible management approach. The key is finding the appropriate & tolerable starting point, that’s where we come in!

Myth #3: You should avoid exercise

As just mentioned, exercise is not dangerous. Safe, graded exposure to painful activities can actually help reduce pain by improving your strength, capacity and tolerance. 

Exercise really is the best medicine for osteoarthritis.

Myth #4: Surgery is the only option

Surgery is not the only answer. In fact 20% of people who undergo joint replacements don’t achieve pain relief. Surgery is suggested for people who have undergone thorough non-surgical management unsuccessfully. One of the coolest approaches I’ve seen was a surgeon telling a client to go through a “mock surgery” by completing the post-surgical rehab process prior to having an actual operation. There’s no harm in this approach as you’ll be completing the rehab either way, but chances are you may not need the surgery after completing the full graded-exposure exercise rehab.

Myth #5: The more it hurts, the worse it is

Much like on a scan, the amount of damage does not reflect the level of pain. They do not always correlate. Think about a few real-life examples of pain. A paper-cut can be horribly painful, yet we know there is no threatening level of damage associated. You’ve all probably also discovered a huge bruise (tissue damage) at some point in your life & had no idea how it got there; it was completely painless!

Interested in working with an Osteopath to help guide you through arthritis-related aches & pains?

Book an appointment with Dr Matt Corbin at Six Core Outcomes to help strengthen your body through movement and redefine your limits.

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