10 Things doctors want you to know about arthritis
It is more than just aches and pains
Arthritis is believed to be a medical condition about joint aches and pains. Other than severe damage to the joints, it can even affect your organs and skin. One of the common forms of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis can affect internal organs.
It’s a variety of diseases
Arthritis is not just one condition but more than a 100 different conditions. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which causes wear and tear of the cartilage.
Symptoms can vary from person to person
You may experience symptoms different from another arthritis patient. The most common symptoms of arthritis are stiffness, pain, swelling and limited range of motion. Moreover, the symptoms may not be constant, can come and go, or worsen gradually.
Cracking knuckles doesn’t cause arthritis
One of the most prevalent arthritis myths is that cracking knuckles causes arthritis. According to a study done at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, cracking knuckles does not cause any damage.
Wear and tear more likely to be the cause than genetics
Arthritis is not all about genetics, though family history is a risk factor for arthritis. Wear and tear of the joints is the most common cause of arthritis. Other than genetics, being overweight, older, having a joint injury or stress on the joint increases your risk for arthritis.
Newborns can have arthritis too
Arthritis is seen as a disease of the elderly, though it is not always the case. Babies and young adults can have some types of arthritis. Unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, limping, and a failure to thrive are some of the symptoms of arthritis in newborns.
What you eat matters
When it comes to arthritis, it does matter what you eat. There are certain inflammatory foods such as red meat that can worsen the symptoms of arthritis. Weight gain can lead to complications, which is also closely related to eating.
Physical activity can make the difference
If you have arthritis, don’t be afraid to exercise assuming it can worsen symptoms. Exercise can help and not hurt. If you know the right exercises, they can work as medicine.
Surgery is not always required
Surgery is the least common treatment option for arthritis. The condition is perceived to be chronic, but it can be put into remission. Once that is done, surgery is not required.
Rush to doctor if you suspect something wrong
Aches and pains related to arthritis persist longer than usual. If at any point of time you feel or suspect something is not right, don’t wait to see a specialist.