Facts & myths about arthritis

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but the most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA) (RA).
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NEW DELHI: Any condition, whether it be cancer, heart disease, or arthritis, can be treated with awareness. It is common knowledge that arthritis can hurt, swell, and inflame one or more joints. Instead of referring to a single illness, it is an all-encompassing term used to describe a number of disorders. It's one of the most prevalent health problems in the nation.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but the most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA) (RA). OA is the deterioration of the cartilage that covers the ends of bones, as opposed to RA, which largely affects the immune system and can harm joints, muscles, connective tissue, tendons, and fibrous tissue. Any joint, including the hands, hips, knees, and spine, can be harmed by it.

There are more than 180 million cases of arthritis in India, making it more prevalent than many other well-known diseases including diabetes, AIDS, and cancer, according to an analysis of arthritis tests conducted in SRL Diagnostics' facilities. About 14% of Indians seek medical attention each year for this joint issue. Despite the fact that this condition is quite common, there are still a number of beliefs that prevent people from receiving the treatment they need to relieve their symptoms and enhance their quality of life. Dr. Biren Nadkarni, Senior Orthopedic Consultant and Joint Replacement Surgeon from Sitaram Bhartia Institute and Holy Family Hospital in New Delhi, dispels some common myths regarding arthritis in India. Let's look at it:

Arthritis is an old-age disease and cannot affect children

Fact: Although there are numerous varieties of arthritis that can afflict both children and young adults, the condition is more prevalent in older people. The most frequent kind of arthritis in children, juvenile arthritis (also known as childhood arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), can permanently harm joints.

All joint pains are arthritis

Fact: A number of illnesses, including tendonitis, bursitis, and other soft-tissue injuries, can cause joint pain and have a pain profile resembling that of arthritis. Therefore, it is crucial to obtain a precise medical diagnosis before treating any kind of joint discomfort.

When you start experiencing joint pain, you should wait to see if it goes away on its own

Fact: Absolutely false. Early detection and treatment of arthritis can not only save your joints but also protect your important organs from harm. Some types, like rheumatoid arthritis, can harm the heart, blood vessels, brain, skin, eyes, lungs, and skin. It is important to identify the type of arthritis you have as soon as possible since many treatments are available, and starting the right course of treatment can help you avoid suffering long-term effects.

Exercising will worsen your condition

Fact: Exercise helps lessen discomfort and swelling while boosting strength, range of motion, and flexibility. Inactivity can make the symptoms worse, causing the pain and swelling to worsen. Before you enrol yourself in any exercise program, it is also important to know what your limits are and what level of exercise you can benefit from.

Heating pads relieves sore joints

Fact: Joint pain can be relieved by ice as well as heat. Heat can ease pain and stiffness in joints and muscles when applied properly. The cold application might help to reduce soreness and joint inflammation.

When a joint is stiff or hurting, people should apply heat before exercising. Additionally, cold can reduce pain and may be helpful if a joint is irritated, especially if there is swelling post - exercise.

Hand and feet will remain deformed

Fact: Deformities may result from untreated and undiagnosed arthritis. However, this can be avoided with early detection and treatment. Most patients with arthritis lead functional and productive lives.

Dr. Biren Nadkarni concludes by saying, "despite advancements in medicine, there is still much to learn about arthritis. Simple precautions should be taken in order to stop the disease process from developing and affecting our life. Arthritis is accompanied by a number of controllable and non-modifiable risk factors. We should be aware that by maintaining a lifestyle that includes exercise and a nutritious, balanced diet, we may lower the risk of some types of arthritis and halt their progression, in keeping with this year's theme, it's in your hands, take action. Better treatments will undoubtedly develop as scientists continue to study these disorders".

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