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Nov14
Arthritis Reversed #1 ... Biggest Myths on Arthritis
Now medical fraternity is applying a holistic and complimentary system to treat & manage chronic ailments such as arthritis, diabetes, cardiopathy, etc. For any wellness action plan to work there must be a clear understanding of the various aspects involved in so called Arthritis, which also involves clearing up the myths and setting forth the facts of the situation.
Generally the line between fact and fiction is very thin. Myths in healthcare take shape when a sound bite or piece of information is spread and made public, which may be personal experiences or individual concomitants. All these type of information are made available in web globally, making the context so called facts.
When it comes to diseases and conditions like arthritis, the pain, symptoms and joint involved can wreak havoc on a life. If left unchecked, the quality of life of the one suffering arthritis can be destroyed.
After all, a firm belief based in facts goes a long way toward beginning and maintaining a wellness program, especially when one is facing daily pain and physical and emotional debilitation. Let’s look at those myths.
MYTH #1: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA) are the Same
Perhaps the most pervasive myth of all is the notion that there is only one type of arthritis and it just happens to have different symptoms for different people. Arthritis for a fact is an inflammatory condition of the joint. In fact, there are over 100 different types of arthritis; the three most common being osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile arthritis (JA).
While rheumatoid and juvenile arthritis are autoimmune diseases, to be precise – osteoarthritis (OA) is not a disease at all. It is a symptom of joint degeneration.
Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid and juvenile arthritis (and type I diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, etc.), are progressive and associated with a systemic autoimmune disorder. That means the body makes antibodies that attack its own tissues and joints when triggered by some unknown event. Such triggers are known to include a reaction to a virus, the flu shot and stress. In the case of RA and JA, the joints are affected from the internal imbalance.
On the other hand, osteoarthritis is the result of any combination of several external factors, including traumatic physical injury and excessive sports or physical activities over the course of decades. This causes wear and tear of the joints, as well as of the cartilage separating the joints and the surrounding tissues (tendon and muscle).
MYTH #2: Arthritis Is a Normal Part of Aging and Only Affects the Elderly
If you look around it is easy to see how this myth formed and took hold. There are plenty of elderly afflicted with arthritic conditions with visible signs such as misshapen hands, walkers and wheelchairs, etc.
To begin correcting this myth it is important to know that rheumatoid and juvenile arthritis are autoimmune diseases and, therefore, have nothing to do with aging. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is a result of joint wear and tear based in injury and/or overuse, which can come on at any time – or not at all. As such, OA also is not a “normal” part of the aging process.
By keeping the immune system strong and stable, eating right, exercising right and taking care of bone and joint health, the onset and debilitating effects of arthritis need not be part of your aging process. And with better diagnosis and natural treatment remedies and therapies available, when you find you have the condition you can stop it and reduce or even reverse its symptoms, so they will not progress into your later years.
MYTH #3: If You Don’t Look “Sick,” You Don’t Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
If one is only looking to the outward signs and symptoms of RA to know if they have it, they will be amiss. Even when people do not have the visible outward signs of rheumatoid arthritis, such as red swollen joints and deformed fingers, they can still suffer symptoms, like joint pain, fatigue and a general sense of feeling unwell.
The best way to know if you have, or are at risk for, RA is speak to your primary care physician, look into family history and do some blood work.
MYTH #4: If You Have Arthritis, You Should not Exercise
This is a myth most believed by those suffering the symptoms of arthritic pain and inflammation. Decades ago patients were told not to exercise because it would rub the joints and make things worse. This is incorrect. While it is true that depending on your arthritis type and conditions certain exercises should be avoided, this is not a blanket statement about all forms of exercise. In fact certain amount and types of exercise can greatly help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Most often, those with arthritis in the hips and hands feel pain in the joints and inflammation and/or contraction in the muscles and tissues around those joints. However, part of what is contributing to the pain and stiffness is the limited range of motion within the joint structure that has happened as a result of not exercising.
The first step is to begin exercising slowly, lightly and with limits so as not to worsen or aggravate the conditions. Moving each joint slowly at first helps lubricate the joints and stretch the muscles. Strengthening exercises can help stabilize the arthritis joint structures. This in turn helps bring fresh blood, and thus oxygen and nutrients, to the area, which decreases inflammation, stiffness and pain.
Thus the myth that one suffering arthritis must rest and not exercise, no longer holds water.
MYTH #5: Different Climates Have No Effect on Arthritis
It is necessary to understand that there is truth within the myth. There is no scientific evidence to support the notion that cold weather or environments cause arthritis or alter its course, or that warm weather can reverse or cure arthritis.
Climate does play an important role in how one experiences the symptoms of their arthritis. Say for an example, cold weather constricts muscles, tendons and blood vessels, causing constriction around the joints, and thus increased pain and restricted range of motion (ROM) and whereas, heat allows muscles to expand and blood to flow, and so relieves compression around joints and helps move fresh blood into the arthritis area. This reduces pain and stiffness and increases range of motion (ROM). And as well, damp environments (whether warm or cold) cause inflammation around joints, and thus restrict movement and cause pain.
MYTH #6: Arthritis Will Lead to Disability, Wheelchair and the Nursing Home
This myth is a hard one to bust, especially varies with the experiences one has with arthritic symptoms. As a result of our history of poor arthritis diagnosis, treatment and prevention methods, many who contracted arthritis did end up with a walker, in a wheelchair and living in assisted environments.
The first thing to understand is that arthritis is a continuum; it is not one size fits all. Rheumatoid arthritis is the more difficult of the two most common types to control, as it is an autoimmune disease. But early detection and stabilization of the immune system can help keep it from progressing too rapidly. Supplementation and change of diet and various therapies can reduce its symptoms while strengthening the affected and surrounding joint areas.
Osteoarthritis is easier to account for, stop and manage symptoms as they are mostly related to lifestyle and activity choices, bone and joint health and weight.
MYTH #7: Arthritis Sufferers Have To Live In Pain
This is a huge myth which is widely believed. This is because many arthritis sufferers do live in pain, with daily stiffness and inflammation.
By engaging in mind/body exercises to reduce stress, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, stretching, exercising, taking proper supplementation, using therapeutic lifestyle changes prescribed by health-wellness coaches, you can greatly reduce the discomfort. Inflammation decreases, blood flow increases, joint pressure reduces, joint support strengthens and pain slips away.
Even with the best treatment plan, the best healthcare providers, the best supplements and diet there are so many things to control. These include sleep patterns, stress levels, genetic makeup, health habits (smoking/alcohol) and potential slips and falls that can increase your pain.
MYTH #8: Arthritis Can’t Be Reversed
The notion that the damage done by arthritis cannot be reversed is perhaps the biggest myth of all. This view believes nothing can be done to reverse damage, and so patients need to manage their condition as best they can. In other words, symptomatic relief only. However, traditional and holistic medicines have natural methods for increasing bone density, rebuilding bone and regenerating soft tissue. In other words, a natural approach to reversing damage done by arthritis based on using supplements, topical creams and energy medicine.

Dr Wilkhoo H S www.wellnessdrwilkhoo.com


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