Debunking 3 Common Myths Surrounding Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is the same as osteoarthritis.
In reality, the two are very different, and while they both cause pain to joints and limit mobility, their causes differ greatly. Osteoarthritis, similar to osteoporosis, occurs mostly in older adults and seniors and is caused by general wear and tear of joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, can onset at any time in a person's life. It is caused by an inflammatory autoimmune process in which the body's immune system essential attacks healthy tissue. Making the distinction between these two disorders is imperative in receiving the right treatment at a rheumatology center.
Most people affected by rheumatoid arthritis end up permanently disabled.
This is a major generalization. Rheumatoid arthritis exhibits a different set of symptoms in each person, and technological advancements have made strides in treating the disorder more effectively than ever. The most recent statistics cite less than 20% chance of clinical remission with or without treatment. That being said, 75% of those with rheumatoid arthritis can "achieve low disease activity with continued treatment." Again, talk to a professional to hear about your treatment options.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be effectively treated solely by making lifestyle changes or pain medications
Even though lifestyle changes and pain medications can work as a chronic pain treatment method, rheumatoid arthritis treatment requires more than eating healthier or exercising more frequently. In fact, a 2015 study published in the journal Health Services Research found that initial treatment with physical therapy results in 72% fewer costs in the year following an episode of pain. The study compared patients who received either an MRI or physical therapy after their primary care visit. Rheumatoidarthritis.net writes, "Unlike other forms of arthritis that may respond well to lifestyle changes alone, such as weight loss, dietary changes, or exercise."
Ultimately, these are just a few of the many misconceptions surrounding rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Understanding these myths can help you make the best decision regarding your personal health and overall well-being.