6 Myths About Joint Pain and Arthritis

Have you ever been able to accurately foretell a storm by the way your joints ached? It’s a phrase you’ve undoubtedly heard before. However, does this assertion have any basis in fact?

Some frequent myths concerning osteoarthritis (OA) pain and therapy have been dispelled by rheumatologist M. Elaine Husni, MD, MPH.

Myth 1: Arthritis is the cause of all joint discomfort.

Fact: Other disorders, such as tendinitis, bursitis, and other soft-tissue injuries, may also cause joint discomfort. ‘

This is a typical formation present around the joints that may cause discomfort, swelling, and mimic joint pain. It is frequent.

In people over the age of 50, osteoarthritis is the most frequent form of arthritis. Swelling, discomfort, and trouble moving joints are all possible signs. A person’s risk of developing OA increases as they approach their fifties. Tendonitis, bursitis, and soft tissue injuries may all produce discomfort in the same places as joint inflammation. To get the correct therapy, you need to go to a rheumatologist for a checkup.

Fact 2: Arthritis is made worse by rain and other wet conditions.

In spite of popular belief, there is no clear evidence to support the idea that arthritic symptoms are exacerbated by wetness or humidity.

Myth 3: If your arthritis flares up, ease up on the activity.

It’s true that regular, moderate exercise may help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, but arthritic joints may need some recuperation before getting back into the swing of things. Maintaining joint flexibility and strength is critical. Even if you have arthritis, we recommend that you keep your joints moving.

Do not ignore Dr. Husni’s caution. Know your boundaries and begin with 20-minute increments.” If your present exercise regimen is causing you discomfort, your doctor may be able to help you choose a more moderate kind of exercise.”

Myth 4: Rum-soaked raisins, grapefruit, and eggplant or other nightshade vegetables are nutritional remedies for arthritis, according to the myths.

Medications and lifestyle adjustments may successfully control symptoms and allow normal activity in people with arthritis, despite the fact that there is no cure. As a result, it’s important to keep an eye on what you’re putting into your body and how it affects you.

Dr. Husni recommends eating more fresh fruits and veggies. Helping to ease your discomfort are anti-inflammatory qualities in several fruits and vegetables.

To begin starting on a healthy diet, talk to your rheumatologist or nutritionist.

Myth 5: When it comes to painful joints, ice isn’t as effective as heat.

As a matter of fact, arthritic patients may benefit from both cold and heat therapy.

You can do whatever it takes to alleviate your joint pain.

According to Dr. Husni, “using ice at night helps alleviate joint inflammation that is caused by everyday activity.” Warmth applied first thing in the morning might help loosen up tense joints.

Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time to aching joints if you’re going to do that. Get some frozen veggies or ice cubes out of the freezer and put them in a plastic baggie.

Sore joints may be soothed with the use of a heating pad. The injured joints may be soothed if there is no heating pad available by heating a moist washcloth for approximately 15 seconds in the microwave and placing it on them. For pain relief, don’t be scared to take a warm bath or shower.

The sixth myth is that glucosamine supplements are beneficial to everyone suffering from arthritis.

Osteoarthritic patients may benefit from the use of glucosamine, a dietary supplement that promotes joint health, but only in a small percentage of patients.

There is some evidence, however, that glucosamine should not be prescribed to everyone with arthritis.

In order to assess whether glucosamine and chondroitin make a difference, Dr. Husni suggests that patients take the supplements for three months. As long as it works for you, keep using it; if not, search for a better solution. ”

One-on-one attention

As Dr. Husni points out, “A diagnosis of arthritis does not indicate the end of a busy lifestyle.” Treatment for osteoarthritis (OA) aims to improve joint mobility and strength while also teaching patients to better manage their pain.

Find out what works best for you and your lifestyle by working with your rheumatologist.


Why quiet time is healthy for body and mind

Silence. Some of us welcome it. For others, the thought of sitting in silence is enough to make their skin crawl.

How much you value silence may depend on where you are on the introvert/extrovert scale. But whether you can work a crowded room with ease or are a self-proclaimed homebody, silence should be a part of your day. Clinical health psychologist Amy Sullivan, PsyD, ABPP, offers reasons why it’s important, plus how to get started.

Why quiet time is healthy for body and mind

Silence offers opportunities for self-reflection and daydreaming, which activates multiple parts of the brain. It gives us time to turn down the inner noise and increase awareness of what matters most. And it cultivates mindfulness — recognition and appreciation of the present moment.

Silence also has physical benefits.

“When we’re frazzled, our fight-or-flight response is on overload causing a host of problems,” says Dr. Sullivan. “We can use calm, quiet moments to tap into a different part of the nervous system that helps shut down our bodies’ physical response to stress.”

That means, being still and silent can help you:

  • Lower your blood pressure.
  • Decrease your heart rate.
  • Steady your breathing.
  • Reduce muscle tension.
  • Increase focus and cognition.

Americans tend to struggle with stillness

There are cultural differences when it comes to welcoming silence. In America, FOMO (fear of missing out) runs deep. Americans often use external stimuli — like devices or social media — to distract themselves from personal thoughts or feelings that are uncomfortable. Culturally, we tend to be less adept at managing boredom through creative pursuits or a meditation practice.

But spacing out creates opportunities to rest, relax and recharge.

“Learning to sit in stillness and self-reflect is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and our kids,” says Dr. Sullivan. “When we look internally and delve deeper into our value system and wants and needs, we can communicate at a deeper level. We have to foster that ability.”

Dr. Sullivan says silence helps us develop the skills to have:

  • More profound thoughts.
  • Stronger relationships.
  • Increased creativity.
  • Improved communication skills.

Introverts may be better adopters of quiet time

“Extroverts can be completely comfortable in boisterous situations, whereas introverts tend to be more reflective. They prefer smaller crowds and often have insightful thoughts,” says Dr. Sullivan.

Because of this, introverts may be better positioned to appreciate still, calm moments. “Society tends to value extroverts because they are more vocal or better presenters,” says Dr. Sullivan. “But we have to recognize that introverts process information in a way that promotes creativity and problem-solving because they talk less and listen more. There is huge value to that.”

How to find room for silence

“Meditation is the practice of sitting in silence and focusing on the present moment. This is one of the best ways to incorporate quiet time into your day,” says Dr. Sullivan. “For you and your children, set a timer for one minute. Spend that time just sitting or lying in silence.”

She recommends making it a daily practice. “The first minute is quite difficult for many people. It is hard to sit still. Instead, people think about everything they need to get done or want to be doing. Over time, though, you get good at it. You feel calmer, and you end up wanting more.”

As you cultivate a desire for silence, you can slowly increase the time until you’re meditating five to 15 minutes in the morning and at night.

But you don’t need to have a formal meditation practice to find quiet time. Try:

  •  Enjoying your morning coffee sans device or magazine.
  •  Looking out the window the next time you’re a passenger in the car instead of picking up your phone.
  • Walking by yourself and listening to the natural noises around you instead of music.

It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Just take advantage of those quiet moments throughout the day and your mind and body will thank you for it.

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