Most people understand that arthritis has to do with swollen and painful joints. But beyond that, there are many misconceptions about the condition. TV commercials have us believe that only the elderly experience arthritis, and that a miracle pill can get us back on the tennis court or playing on the beach with our grandkids.
In reality, arthritis is an incurable and progressive disease that can eventually rob a person of their ability to take care of themselves.
Much can be done to control the disease and slow its progression, but you need to know that arthritis is more than just an annoyance that will have you rubbing your wrists with a sad expression.
And not only that but there are actually a staggering number of forms of arthritis, many of which you may not be aware of. Chronic fatigue syndrome, fifth disease, Lyme disease, and spinal stenosis are just a few examples. Stay with us to bust 7 common myths about arthritis: #1 and #5 totally change the landscape.
1. Anyone can get arthritis
Age can be a factor in arthritis, but it is not true that it only affects the elderly. In fact, nearly 300,000 infants and children have been diagnosed with arthritis or a rheumatic condition. And about 2/3 of adult arthritis patients in the United States are of working age, between 18 and 64 years old.
Arthritis also affects the genders differently. Official diagnoses are more common in women (26% of total cases) than in men (18% of total cases). Women experience rheumatoid arthritis much more frequently than men. On the other hand, men tend to experience gout and ankylosing spondylitis more often.
When it comes to older people, the most common type is osteoarthritis.