Joint pain is a common condition, but it’s also commonly misunderstood. Whether you experience it or not, it’s helpful to understand what joint pain is and what it isn’t. Here are four common misconceptions about arthritis and joint pain that you may have been holding for years.
Misconception 1: Arthritis only affects the elderly
It’s true that as you age, your risk of developing arthritis increases. Nearly half of all adults aged 65 or older have arthritis. But contrary to popular belief, arthritis doesn’t just affect older adults.
While arthritis pain can worsen with age, the condition typically gets diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50. In fact, two thirds of arthritis patients are under 65—and that includes around300,000 children. Kids as young as one can develop a type of arthritis called systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which can be a serious condition.
Misconception 2: Exercise is bad for joint pain, rest is good for joint pain
You may not feel like exercising much when you have joint pain. But staying active is actually key to managing your joint pain.
Exercising moderately for at least five days out of every week helps relieve stiffness and discomfort in the joints. It also strengthens your muscles and helps you sleep better—both important factors for healthy joints. Exercise also helps you lose weight, which eases the pressure on your joints and can significantly reduce your pain.
Walking, biking, and swimming are some of the best forms of exercise for people with joint pain because they’re relatively low-impact and don’t put much pressure on your joints. Talking to your doctor before you start a new exercise regime is always a good idea and helps you tailor your activities to your unique needs.
Still, you might hear people telling you that you need rest while you’re exercising your joint pain away. While you definitely want to be getting enough sleep and shouldn’t push yourself too hard, remaining sedentary is a sure-fire way to make your joint pain worse. Instead, try stay active and stretch regularly, but remember to stop if your pain suddenly increases.
Misconception 3: If you're active and healthy you won't get joint pain
Unfortunately, even the most active and healthy people can develop joint pain. While maintaining a healthy weight lowers your risk of developing osteoarthritis and gout, it won’t necessarily prevent you from getting arthritis or experiencing other forms of joint pain.
Active, healthy people can still injure themselves through overuse or sports accidents, so remember to stretch and look after yourself, even when you’re feeling fine. And some forms of arthritis are genetic, which means you might develop the condition even if you exercise and eat healthily. Luckily, there are many ways that you can manage your pain and continue living a full and vibrant life.
Misconception 4: If you have arthritis, there’s nothing you can do about it
While there isn’t currently a cure for arthritis, there are plenty of things you can do to manage your condition and lessen the pain. Stay active, eat healthy foods that reduce inflammation in the joints, and practice self-care methods to take care of yourself and feel whole. You can also consider alternative therapies like stem cell therapy.
Stem cell therapy has helped many patients experience long-lasting relief from joint pain, including arthritis pain. This innovative treatment option is safe and minimally-invasive. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy is right for you.