Osteoarthritis misconceptions: The not so guilty party

Let’s talk about osteoarthritis misconceptions. Osteoarthritis is a common concern for many folks visiting clinics and getting those x-rays, MRIs, or ultrasounds. You see, these images often reveal some wear and tear in our joints, which many assume is the cause of their pain. However, that’s not always the case.

There was this intriguing study where they imaged a bunch of people—some in pain and some not. Surprisingly, a majority of them showed signs of degenerative changes, but it didn’t necessarily match up with who was in pain and who wasn’t. It turns out, arthritis isn’t always the guilty party.

So, what exactly is arthritis? It’s basically inflammation in the joints when the smooth cartilage that covers our bones starts to wear down, making things a bit rough. When arthritis becomes symptomatic, you’ll notice red, hot, and swollen joints. Ever seen a little old lady struggling to move her knuckles? That’s a classic example of symptomatic arthritis, often found in the hands.

Of course, arthritis can affect other places too—like the spine, hips, and knees. But guess what? The pain you’re feeling in those areas isn’t solely due to arthritis—it’s usually linked to some dysfunction, like weakness or tightness, throwing things off balance and causing discomfort.

Here’s a mind-boggling fact: recreational runners can actually benefit from their regular running routine and might even lower their risk of developing osteoarthritis. Yup, you read that right! Contrary to what many believe, movement isn’t the enemy once arthritis comes into play. It’s all about finding the right starting point for your unique osteoarthritis journey.

Wondering where to start? Well, regular physiotherapy is an excellent starting point. Your healthcare pro can assess your situation and tailor exercises that match your capabilities, helping you get moving in a safe and effective way.

Got any questions? Fire away! Let’s keep that conversation going.