Heat or Ice? To exercise or rest? Do I use gels or creams? Do my noisy joints mean I have arthritis?
Osteoarthritis, or the degenerative disease of a whole joint, is the most common form of Arthritis experienced by the population. It is highly prevalent; affecting an estimated 9.3% of all Australians as per latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data. It often presents with pain, stiffness and reduced mobility of the affected joint, on a wide spectrum from mild to severe.
Osteoarthritis is an extremely contentious topic, surrounded by many myths that make the path to effective management unclear. The media, our loved ones, and our “friend of a friend” are often shouting from the rooftop with well intentioned advice that “solved all their problems in 7 days!”.
We’re going to take it back to basics and address some of the most common myths we hear about Osteoarthritis.
Myth #1: Osteoarthritis Only Affects the Elderly
One of the most common circulating myths about Osteoarthritis is that it’s an exclusive club for the elderly. While it’s true that age is a significant risk factor, it can certainly affect individuals in the middle-aged years AND not necessarily affect those who have had many a birthday. From athletes to office workers, nobody is immune to the potential challenges of joint health.
It’s time to ditch the stereotype and acknowledge that osteoarthritis doesn’t discriminate based on age.
Myth #2: Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Osteoarthritis
How many times have you been warned that cracking your knuckles will lead to arthritis? Well, fear not, habitual knuckle-crackers! The satisfying pop you hear is just gas bubbles bursting in the synovial fluid (produced by the joint to provide nourishment to the cartilage)– it won’t pave the way for osteoarthritis. So,
go ahead, indulge in a little finger symphony without worrying about the joint police showing up.
Myth #3: Osteoarthritis Is Inevitable with Aging
Yes, aging is a risk factor for osteoarthritis, but it’s not an unavoidable fate. Not everyone will develop osteoarthritis as they age, and lifestyle factors play a crucial role. Healthy habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and weight management can significantly reduce the risk and impact of osteoarthritis.
Myth #4: Osteoarthritis is Just Joint Rusting
Contrary to the image of joints rusting away like neglected machinery, osteoarthritis is a complex condition involving the breakdown of cartilage, inflammation, and changes in bone. It’s not a straightforward case of joints accumulating rust but rather a multifaceted process that demands a more nuanced understanding.
Myth #5: Exercise Worsens Osteoarthritis
Wrong! The evidence supports that exercise can be an important tool against joint discomfort. Regular physical activity helps strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and maintain a healthy weight – all of which contribute to better joint health. So, lace up those sneakers and embrace the movement.
Osteoarthritis, with all its nuances, deserves to be understood beyond the clichés and misconceptions. Our experienced team of professionals know that knowledge is power; and are dedicated to helping their clients manage their osteoarthritis symptoms.
Myth #6: Playing sports and running causes Osteoarthritis
“I was an athlete when I was younger, so I’m paying for it now” is a very common phrase we hear from our clients. Did you know that the evidence suggests that running may have a protective effect on osteoarthritis? One study found that people that run are 54% less likely to have knee surgery compared to the average population! A study in 2014 also found that runners experienced less knee pain compared to their non-running counterparts. Let’s not give up our beloved sports or activities in fear of developing Osteoarthritis, always listen to your body as a guide!
Osteoarthritis, with all its nuances, deserves to be understood beyond the clichés and misconceptions. Our experienced team of professionals know that knowledge is power; and are dedicated to helping their clients manage their Osteoarthritis symptoms. We can also support you in staying fit and active across your lifespan, so you can keep doing what you love, for longer!
Get in touch today with one of our friendly team on (03) 9696 2639 to book an appointment and feel the empowerment!
Get in touch today with one of our friendly team on (03) 9696 2639 to book an appointment and feel the difference!