Common myths about osteoarthritis that are not true

Nov 30, 2023

Common myths about osteoarthritis that are not true

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Reports

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that is often surrounded by myths and misconceptions. Clarifying these myths is essential to make the best decisions about your health, below we expose some of these recurring myths about osteoarthritis that are not true. 

1. Osteoarthritis is only a disease of old age:

One of the most widespread myths is that osteoarthritis only affects older people. While it is true that osteoarthritis becomes more common with age, it can also affect younger people. Osteoarthritis can be the result of previous joint injuries, genetic predisposition, obesity, inadequate physical activity or even metabolic factors. The conjunction of several of these risk factors can cause osteoarthritis to appear at very early ages and, therefore, it is not exclusive to older ages.

2. Osteoarthritis is only a problem of cartilage wear:

While cartilage wear is an important component of osteoarthritis, this disease is more complex than this myth suggests. Osteoarthritis involves other components of the joint such as: The subchondral bone (bone underneath the cartilage) and the synovial membrane (membrane that lines any joint).

3. Exercise worsens osteoarthritis:

This myth can lead to inactivity, which is actually detrimental to people with osteoarthritis. Proper exercise is critical in managing the disease, as it strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints, improves mobility and helps maintain a healthy weight. The key is to choose low-impact exercise tailored to individual needs, which can reduce stress on the joints without worsening osteoarthritis.

4. There are no effective treatments for osteoarthritis:

Although osteoarthritis has no definitive cure, there are effective treatments to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for sufferers. Treatments may include lifestyle changes, physical therapy, pain and inflammation control medications, corticosteroid injections or intra-articular treatments with growth factors or hyaluronic acid, and in severe cases, surgery to replace the affected joint. Focusing on pain management and functionality can help people with osteoarthritis lead a full life.

5. Osteoarthritis is only a physical problem:

Osteoarthritis can have a significant impact on the mental and emotional health of those who suffer from it, and it is not just limited to the physical aspects. Chronic pain, disability and decreased quality of life can cause anxiety, depression and social isolation. It is important to address not only the physical symptoms, but also the emotional well-being of people with osteoarthritis. Mental health care and emotional support are essential in the comprehensive management of the disease.

This is why osteoarthritis is a complex disease that goes beyond the common myths surrounding it. By demystifying these misconceptions, people can make informed decisions about their health and seek appropriate treatment to improve their quality of life. Osteoarthritis education is essential to foster an accurate understanding of the condition and to ensure that those with osteoarthritis receive the support and care they need.

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