Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful condition that affects millions of adults
worldwide. It is the most common form of arthritis, occurring as the cartilage
in the joints wears down. As cartilage is lost, inflammation can occur
along with pain that could become worse without treatment. If you are
struggling with joint stiffness or
knee pain in Marietta, it may be time to consult an orthopaedist to explore the cause of your
pain. If osteoarthritis is the root of your discomfort, you might improve
your care by getting to know the truth behind these common OA myths.
Myth: Patients with OA should avoid exercise
Exercising while you are experiencing joint pain may sound counterintuitive,
but exercise is actually an integral component of effective OA management.
While you may want to avoid physical activity on days when flare-ups are
causing excessive pain, using low-impact activities like swimming, waling,
or yoga might be highly
beneficial for your ongoing relief. Your doctor can recommend the best
exercises for your joint strength, which may also help you maintain a
healthier weight for reduced pressure on the joints.
Myth: OA is a natural part of the aging process
It is true that
osteoarthritis tends to be more frequently diagnosed in older individuals, since it is
the result of degeneration caused by wear and tear of the joints. Still,
OA can occur in younger patients. OA also does not have to be part of
the aging process at all when steps are taken for prevention. Avoiding
orthopaedic injuries early in life with smarter practices during athletic
activity, for example, can make a big difference when it comes to preventing
Myth: Cracking knuckles causes arthritis
There is a long-perpetuated myth that cracking one’s knuckles can
cause arthritis in the hands. While this has been proven false, there
is some damage that can take place from this compulsive habit. Cracking
the knuckles often might injure ligaments or dislocate other connective
tissues, which can cause weakness of the hands later in life. Similarly,
wearing high heels and tight clothing will not increase the risk of OA,
but these wardrobe choices can still have a negative impact on orthopaedic health.