By: Guest Author
Published: May 9, 2018
Contributed by Rebecca Evans- Guest Contributor
For many arthritis sufferers, one of the most frustrating parts is how inevitable so much of it can sometimes be. But a big part of that frustration is the result of misunderstanding, so let’s take a moment to debunk some of the most common myths.
It’s just old age. While yes, we think arthritis primarily affects older populations, the truth is that nearly 60% of those with arthritis are under the age of 65.
It’ll take care of itself. Fortunately, fewer people think this than once did, but the truth remains that as many as 6 million Americans are suffering with arthritis but have never seen a doctor about treatment. It seems silly that people would willingly suffer when treatment is available…but that’s essentially what this amounts to.
Nothing can be done about it. That’s just not true. Not only are there many great medications that can help manage arthritis, but there are also sorts of alternative treatments and lifestyle choices you can make that also might help you manage your symptoms and quality of life. No matter when you are diagnosed, proper treatment can help you get your arthritis under control.
It’s just aches and pains. For some people, at first, sure. But arthritis is a major cause of lost freedom and independence, and millions of Americans have seen daily activities curtailed because of arthritis. In fact, more than 100,000 Americans cannot get from bed to the bathroom without help. Arthritis is the most common crippling disease, most common chronic disease, most common cause of mobility impairment, AND the leading cause of physician visits for seniors. Clearly, it’s not just aches and pains.
I’ll never get arthritis. Except odds are good you will. Fully a quarter of the American population (seventy million people) currently suffer from arthritis, and nearly another million are diagnosed with arthritis each year. Just because you don’t have symptoms now doesn’t mean you might not develop them later.
My doctor can take care of my arthritis. Maybe, maybe not. The truth is that treatments continue to improve, and new medications come out every year. Because arthritis does affect so many people, there is a great deal of research being done, and so if your doctor is not fully informed and up-to-date on the most current treatments, you may not be getting the best care. Ask lots of questions, and advocate for yourself, because you deserve the best possible treatment.
There are two many side-effects to the medications. Again, that may or may not actually be true. As medications continue to improve, there are fewer nasty side effects, as well as more approaches to managing those symptoms. Work with your doctor and arthritis specialists, and again, ask a lot of questions.
What your life with arthritis looks like is very much up to you. Are you getting the treatment you need? Are you asking the questions to ensure you get the best possible treatment?
You’re in charge of your quality of life. Understanding what’s real about arthritis-and what’s just a myth-is a huge step toward taking control of your arthritis.
Author Bio: Rebecca Evans is a geriatric nurse who loves seeing her patients learn and take more control of their treatment – and that’s especially true for her arthritic patients, where a little more information can sometimes make all the difference.
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.