Most people know what arthritis is and are not anxiously anticipating their first joint pain, stiffness or weakness, but many people do not know the details and symptoms of a specific type of arthritis because it only affects around one percent of the population worldwide.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is defined as a persistent and progressive disease of the joints that causes them to swell, stiffen, weaken and inflame. The condition starts in smaller doses like within hand joints and eventually spreads to larger joints throughout the body. I have provided you with five major myths about a type of arthritis that everyone should know are false.
1. MYTH: Elderly people are the only ones who can get rheumatoid arthritis.
TRUTH: In most people with this complication, symptoms start between the ages of 30 and 55. Realistically, anyone can get rheumatoid arthritis, although older generations can possibly display worse symptoms since it tends to be a naturally progressive disease.
2. MYTH: Stiff joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis need to relax and rest most of the time.
TRUTH: Actually, joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis need to be stretched and exercised regularly. As it turns out, it is more counterproductive to be immobile than to involve your painful joints in low-impact exercise movements and stretching.
3. MYTH: People with rheumatoid arthritis also get cancer later on in life.
TRUTH: This statement is false but like any other disease, individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are at a higher risk of developing blood cancer than others without the condition.
4. MYTH: Because rheumatoid arthritis treatment can be harmful, it is safer to wait until the disease progresses before seeking medication.
TRUTH: With most diseases, it is always safer to receive helpful treatment at the beginning of the symptoms rather than prolonging the pain until it is unbearable. Some of the medications to help rheumatoid arthritis may have side affects, but nothing equal to the pain of untreated rheumatoid arthritis. Our physicians at Non-Surgical Orthopaedics can help you to better understand your treatment options and cope with the pain that comes from this disease.
5. MYTH: Some people who have rheumatoid arthritis have to quit working.
TRUTH: Like many things in life, changes need to occur when certain situations arise. Therefore, if you are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, it is not the end of your career. Actually, most individuals with the disease continue working as usual but with slight alterations to their schedule or workload.
Living with rheumatoid arthritis can be tough on your joints, but it can be vastly improved upon now that these myths have been debunked and you know the reality about the condition. Next time you hear one of these myths talked about over the dinner table, make sure to tell your family and friends the facts and let people know the truth about rheumatoid arthritis.