Arthritis is a painful condition that affects the wrists, knees, fingers, toes and hips of the human body. And contrary to popular beliefs, it is not a single disease but a name given to a set of conditions. There are over 100 different types of inflammatory joint diseases and conditions related to it. The condition is known to affect people of all age groups, sexes and races alike. Although the condition is widespread, there is so much about arthritis that we don't understand. And a better understanding of the disease is essential for its early diagnosis and treatment. October 12 is observed as World Arthritis Day worldwide. The theme this year is "It's in your hands, take action." So on the occasion, Dr Sachin Bhonsale from Fortis Hospital, Mulund helps us dispel some of the common myths about the disease. World Arthritis Day 2018: Theme and Significance of the Day and 5 Quick Facts About The Painful Condition.
1 Popping Knuckles Cause Arthritis
Popping knuckles is a common past time, but does it lead to arthritis? "The myth that 'cracking joints' can cause degenerative arthritis is quite widespread. The sound of popping knuckles is quite annoying to people, however, it's not harmful and doesn't cause inflammatory diseases." But if the cracking sound is followed by pain, Dr Bhonsale warns that there could be some underlying abnormalities in the structures of the joint, like a loose gristle or separated ligaments.
2 Arthritis is an Old People Disease
Only old people get arthritis is yet another myth that people believe in. "This condition can affect one and two-year-olds, and can also occur in people who are 90-years-old," says the doctor. Arthritis doesn't spare any age group and can affect everyone from kids to adults. "In fact, there are infants, children and teens living with several types of juvenile arthritis and rheumatic conditions," he adds. World Arthritis Day 2018: Important Facts About Your Joints You Didn't Know About.
3 Diet Doesn't Help Arthritis
Diet has an important role to play in the management of any disease, which also includes arthritis. "There are certain foods that should feature in your diet. These may help you manage the pain associated with the disease." Since it is an inflammatory condition, the addition of inflammation-fighting foods like fish, olive oil, whole grains, fruits and vegetables help in alleviating symptoms.
4 All Joint Pains are Arthritis
All joint pains are not arthritis. Some may be caused by alternative conditions such as tendinitis and bursitis. Even joint injuries can cause pain but can't be classified as arthritis, according to Dr Bhonsale.
5 Exercise and Physical Activities Should Be Avoided During Pain
Since arthritis is a condition that affects the joint, it sounds perfectly logical to avoid physical activities. However, regular exercise like aerobic exercise and stretching can improve joint movements. "It can help ease the pain of the inflammatory disease," says Dr Bhonsale.
There's no cure for arthritis and treatment is the only option. The condition is so widespread that a better understanding is required to find more effective methods of treatment. And dispelling the myths is the first step towards achieving this goal.