Myth: You shouldn’t exercise once you have osteoarthritis
If joints are used less often, the muscles surrounding the joint may weaken. Thus, those with osteoarthritis are encouraged to exercise. Exercise can increase your endurance and strengthen the muscles around your joint, making your joint more stable.
Low impact activities like yoga could also help strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments, this in turn helps keep joints properly aligned and at less risk for injury. Furthermore, it also promotes range of motion, a particular problem for those with arthritis, with less stress to the damaged joints.
Myth: Osteoarthritis is part of ageing, you can’t prevent it.
The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age as older joints have more wear and tear. However, not only older people will get osteoarthritis as it also affects the young people. Several factors are involved in causing the condition, including heredity and lifestyle. The onset of osteoarthritis can be delayed or prevented by:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Caring for your joints
- Supplementing with joint health nutrients
Myth: Osteoarthritis can only be treated using painkillers
Painkillers may help to manage the pain but it is unable to treat osteoarthritis. There are ways to relieve joint pain and treat osteoarthritis without involving drug therapy.
- Weight loss – helps in pain reduction and improvement of joint functions
- Exercise – protects joints by strengthening the muscles around them
- Heat/cold pack – using heat packs or commercial cold pack or homemade cold pack (from crushed ice or ice cubes) helps to reduce pain and stiffness
- Supplement with joint health nutrients – glucosamine and chondroitin are clinically proven to relieve joint pain and treat osteoarthritis
Myth: The affected joint with Osteoarthritis will have stiffness that lasts the entire day
Stiffness and pain are the common symptoms of OA. The affected joints usually become stiff in the morning, but the stiffness is usually short-lived, lasting only about 15 – 20 minutes. Exercising and keeping your joints moving can reduce stiffness and pain.
On the other hand, joint stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis may not improve for several hours or it may last throughout the entire day. Hence, morning stiffness helps to differentiate osteoarthritis from rheumatoid arthritis.