Osteopath treating osteoarthritis

5 myths about Osteoarthritis

Did you know that Osteoarthritis is the most common joint condition, affecting 520 million people around the world. The odds of having osteoarthritis increases with age, but it isn’t true that we are guaranteed to suffer from it as we get older.

Myth 1 – Exercise will make osteoarthritis worse.

Research has stated that exercise is one of three core treatments for osteoarthritis. This should involve strengthening around the affected joint and general cardiovascular exercise. Strengthening muscles around the joint can improve symptoms by protecting it and improving your general fitness can also reduce general inflammation.

Myth 2 – Osteoarthritis always requires a scan.

X-Rays aren’t usually helpful in diagnosing osteoarthritis as there is not a strong relationship between osteoarthritis symptoms and structural changes seen on scans.

Myth 3 – Pain equals damage.

Evidence has shown there is no correlation between the changes that naturally occur in osteoarthritis and the symptoms that are experienced. If you do experience pain, there’s still a huge chance you can control your symptoms. Pain is a complicated sensation that is not directly related to the structural changes in your joint; it is influenced by a number of factors including our emotions, level of stress, poor sleep and general inflammation.

Myth 4 – Osteoarthritis will always need surgery.

This myth stems from the belief that no matter what you do, osteoarthritis will get worse. Only about a third of people get worse over time but some see improvement in their symptoms. There are many positive things that you can do to help yourself, and the first thing is to get booked in with us at VITAL Health; we can assess the joint and recommend things you can be doing to improve pain and movement.

Myth 5 – Arthritis is purely due to wear and tear on the joints.

There are many risk factors that may make it more likely that you will have problems with arthritis. Being overweight increases the level of inflammation in your system, this in turn contributes to joint changes as well as putting more strain on any affected weight-bearing joints. Losing as little as 6% of your body weight has been shown to result in a reduction in pain and improved function.