FACT or FICTION: Joint Pain & Rheumatoid Arthritis
There’s so much information and hearsay out there about joint pain and arthritis that it can often become confusing or contradictory. This means that people can often be misled and as a result follow the wrong advice, perhaps making the joint pain worse in the process. For this post, Staying Put at Home looks at the facts and fictions of joint pain and arthritis, and what treatments are available to alleviate and reduce discomfort.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Only Affects Seniors: Fiction
While the risk of arthritis increases with age, arthritis can begin at any time.1 The average age of onset for rheumatoid arthritis is 40.2 It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of arthritis, like morning stiffness, joint swelling and a decreased range of motion. If you can catch these symptoms early on, then doctors will be able to prescribe the necessary medication to help relieve pain.
Joint Pain Must Be Arthritis: Fiction
While there are more than 100 forms of arthritis (the most prevalent being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis), having joint pain is not the same as having an arthritic condition. Sometimes, that ache can be a soft tissue injury, bursitis or tendinitis.
Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis: Fiction
It’s an idea that you have been told countless times since you were a child: If you crack your knuckles, then you will eventually develop arthritis. However, there are no studies that corroborate these assertions.3 However, knuckle cracking has been linked to a weaker grip and swollen hands, so it might be time to let this habit go if you haven’t already.4
Smoking is Linked to Arthritis: Fact
Smoking has been connected to a multitude of health conditions, so it is little surprise that it is also linked to rheumatoid arthritis. A recent study showed that more than one-third of cases of RA can be attributed at least in part to smoking.5 According to Mayo Clinic, smoking also weakens the drugs used to combat rheumatoid arthritis.6 Much like knuckle cracking, smoking might be a habit to kick.
Those with Joint Pain Should Avoid Movement and Exercise: Fiction
While it might not be comfortable to move while your joints are in pain, staying sedentary can cause damage and further joint pain. Exercise is helpful for those who are experiencing joint pain, helping them improve range of motion and flexibility. Not exercising will contribute to muscle, bone and cardiovascular deterioration, which will make it harder for you to exercise in the future.
Hydrotherapy Reduces Joint Pain and Arthritis Pain: Fact
As we have mentioned in a previous post, hydrotherapy can be a great way to relax, ease tension and reduce pain in your joints. Hydrotherapy can also reduce inflammation caused by arthritis, aid in digestion, induce sleep, ease diabetic pain and relax muscles. Studies suggest that it is the warm water that soothes the joints.7 These are just a few of the many benefits of hydrotherapy. There are a couple of ways to receive the soothing benefits of hydrotherapy, including a pool or a walk-in bathtub. If you would like to learn more about hydrotherapy, click here.
Keeping up to date with the latest arthritis and joint pain information can help you treat many potential health conditions. We hope that this look at some common misconceptions has helped you learn more about joint pain and what you can do to ease soreness.