Arthritis is a serious condition that affects more than 50 million people in the U.S. Despite its prevalence, there are still plenty of misconceptions about arthritis. If you’ve been diagnosed with this disease, it’s advisable to write down a list of questions you may have and bring it to your next appointment at your community hospital. Ask the arthritis specialist at the hospital about managing your symptoms and living well with arthritis.
Myth: There are Only a Few Types of Arthritis
One of the most pervasive myths about arthritis is that it is a single disease. In fact, experts have identified more than 100 different types of arthritis. However, most people with arthritis have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or juvenile arthritis (JA). Osteoarthritis is the most commonly diagnosed type of arthritis. It involves the degeneration of the cartilage of the joints. In contrast, RA involves the inflammation of the membranes of the joints. Both of these types of arthritis can cause severe symptoms.
Myth: Arthritis Only Affects Older Adults
Although it’s true that older adults are susceptible to developing arthritis, teens and children can also be diagnosed with the disease. There are a few different types of juvenile arthritis, the most common of which is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). An arthritis specialist at the hospital may diagnose JA in a child if he or she has suffered from joint swelling for at least six weeks and he or she is younger than 16.
Myth: Arthritis Necessitates a Sedentary Lifestyle
Because arthritis causes joint pain, patients with arthritis may assume that they should avoid exercise. In fact, doctors highly recommend exercise for patients with arthritis and for those who wish to prevent it. Exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, which reduces pressure on the joints. A doctor can help a patient devise a safe exercise program that reduces stress on the joints.
The arthritis specialists at the Spine & Orthopedic Institute at Northside Hospital can help you explore your treatment options to improve your function and your quality of life. Our hospital in St. Petersburg is dedicated to providing the utmost in patient care and safety. Call our Consult-A-Nurse physician referral service at (888) 598-9586 to find an orthopedic specialist near you.