World Arthritis Day: Debunking the myths associated with the condition

Arthritis is very common; however it is often not understood well. Actually, Arthritis isn’t one disease; it's a casual means of bearing on a joint pain or joint disease

Younger woman in urban areas more prone to arthritis

There are over one hundred differing kinds of inflammatory diseases and conditions connected to it. Individuals of all ages, sexes and races will and do suffer from inflammatory disease.

It’s most distinctive amongst women, and happens more often depending on the age of the individual. On the occasion of World Arthritis Day which is observed every year on 12th October, themed “It’s in your hands, take action”, we hope to raise awareness about this condition. It is important to evaluate the problem at an early stage, and seek appropriate treatment to live a healthy and fit life.

Common inflammatory disease symptoms represent swelling, pain, stiffness and diminished motion. Symptoms might come back and go, however they will be delicate, moderate or severe.

They might remain constant for years, but may progress or intensify over a period of time. Severe inflammatory disease may lead to chronic pain, inability to perform daily activities and make it tough to run or climb stairs.

Inflammatory disease will cause permanent changes to the joints. These changes are also visible, like knobby finger joints, however typically the harm will solely be seen on X-ray.

Some varieties of inflammatory disease can also impact the eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin.

Here are five common myths about arthritis pain

Popping your knuckles will cause arthritis: The myth that ‘cracking joints’ can cause Degenerative Arthritis which is extremely widespread. Knuckle sound is quite annoying to people, however it’s not harmful and doesn’t cause inflammatory disease. If cracking is followed by pain, then there may be underlying abnormalities of the structures of the joint, like loose Gristle or separated ligaments.

Only old people get arthritis: This condition can affect 1 and 2-year-olds, and it can also occur in people who are 90-year-old, and to anyone in between.

The truth is people of all age groups get arthritis including the children and young adults. In fact, there are infants, children and teens living with several types of juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic conditions.

Diet has no effect on arthritis: There is certain food that should feature in your diet; these may help manage arthritis pain. Inflammation is that the key offender in inflammatory disease; so addition of inflammation fighting foods like fish, olive oil, whole grains, fruits and vegetables has been shown to assist alleviates symptoms.

All joint pain is arthritis: There are many alternative conditions which will cause joint pain like tendinitis, bursitis or alternative soft-tissue injuries, etc.

Inactivity is best when arthritis pain flares up: This myth could sound logical however, regular exercise can facilitate to keep up a full vary of motion in joints. Low impact, aerobic exercise and stretching, even throughout a pain flare, can facilitate and ease the pain of inflammatory disease.

The author is a senior consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Fortis Hospital Mulund.