Arthritis Week: Busting the myths
Arthritis: Busting the myths
With National Arthritis Week taking place on October 12th, we thought it would be fitting to take a look at some of the most common myths associated with arthritis. How many of these have you come across?
Myth 1: Arthritis only affects the older generation
It is often assumed that arthritis is a condition which comes with age, but did you know it can actually affect people of all ages? Whilst the figures suggest that around 50% of people aged 65 will suffer from the condition, as many as 300,000 teenagers, children and infants are also afflicted by juvenile arthritis or associated rheumatic conditions.
Myth 2: Citrus fruits can make Arthritis worse
Another common myth is that citrus fruits can aggravate arthritic symptoms due to its high levels of acidity. Ironically, citrus is actually an anti-inflammatory and also contains vitamin C and antioxidants. So, whilst there is no indication that avoiding citrus will help alleviate your symptoms, it is worth noting that grapefruit juice specifically may interact with certain arthritis medicines.
Myth 3: Knuckle cracking causes Arthritis
Many of us will have been told as children that cracking knuckles will lead to Arthritis but this again, is an old wives’ tale. It is neither harmful nor beneficial and is simply the result of negative pressure and nitrogen gas temporarily entering the joint. So, whilst it’s not likely to bring on the condition, it doesn’t deliver any positive benefits either, apart from perhaps irritating your nearest and dearest.
Myth 4: Damp weather will affect your Arthritis
Many sufferers of Arthritis will swear by changes in the weather, believing that an increase in pain/discomfort is the result of impending rain. If we look at the facts, there is currently no scientific proof that dampness or humidity has any impact on the severity of arthritic symptoms, so this appears to be yet another myth to ignore.
Myth 5: All pain is Arthritis
The first twinges and aches can often lead older people to self-diagnose a bout of arthritis, but this may not necessarily be the case. There are a range of common conditions which present similar symptoms, including tendonitis, bursitis and soft-tissue injuries. If the condition remains constant over a number of weeks, or worsens, be sure to check in with your GP for a confirmed diagnosis.
Myth 6: You should rest up during an Arthritis flare-up
It is natural to want to rest and avoid strenuous activities when you are in pain, but it has been proven that exercise and staying mobile can actually help to reduce pain and stiffness. You may need to opt for gentler exercises if your joints are particularly tender, and using a topical gel such as PERNATON® Gel, with added menthol and other essential oils, can help reduce the symptoms and improve joint mobility.