World Arthritis Day is observed on 12 October every year. Arthritis is a condition which affects your joints. The theme for the World Arthritis Day 2021 is ‘Don’t Delay, Connect Today: Time2Work.’
2021 World Arthritis Day: Arthritis leads to inflammation, pain and stiffness in one or more joints
- World Arthritis Day is observed on 12 October
- Arthritis affects the joints of the patient
- Arthritis leads to pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints
Arthritis is a disease affecting the joints. It is characterized by pain, stiffness of the joints etc. It can be either inflammatory (like Rheumatoid arthritis), or non- inflammatory (most common is osteoarthritis). Arthritis can affect single or multiple joints. A significant number of Indian citizens are affected by one or the other form of arthritis, and is the fourth most common reason of disability. Arthritis can be a primary disease of joint or one of the manifestation of systemic problems like connective tissue diseases, infections, and cancers. If correct diagnosis is done at an early stage, with proper treatment arthritis patients can have normal quality of life.
But there are various myths among general public about arthritis which cause delay in seeking proper care. On World Arthritis Day 2021 this article is aimed at clarifying those myths.
World Arthritis Day 2021: Common myths about arthritis busted
1. Arthritis affects only aged people
This is the most common myth among general public. More than 100 types of arthritis have been identified. Though osteoarthritis is more common as age advances, few arthritis like juvenile arthritis can affect children as young a one year as well. Most of the inflammatory arthritis like ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis and conditions like connective tissue disorders may start at young age.
2. Arthritis is only restricted to joints
It is important to understand that arthritis can lead to damage of various organs if not treated at an early stage. Rheumatoid arthritis which is the most common inflammatory arthritis increases the risk of damage to lungs, eyes and skin. Nearly all arthritis carries risk of getting cardiovascular disease if inflammation remains high for long time. So apart from joints, arthritis can negatively impact the functioning of other organs.
3. Arthritis patients should rest once the diagnosis is made
On the contrary, arthritis patients should be more active and engage oneself in regular physiotherapy program to make joints strong and prevent joint damage. Active exercise also reduces stress. In many cases stress is an important factor causing pain in joints and body.
4. Arthritis always makes you bed bound/disabled
If timely and correct diagnosis is made and proper treatment is given, arthritis patients can live symptom free as well as an active life.
5. Arthritis patient always needs surgery
Majorly, arthritis can be managed with combination of medicines, physiotherapy and lifestyle modifications. Surgery is done only if the joints are severely damaged which happens only if medical treatment is not done on time.
6. Rheumatoid Arthritis cannot be prevented if family members have it
Genetics play a partial role only in familial arthritis. There are other risk factors particularly for rheumatoid arthritis development which are completely reversible like obesity, smoking and stress. So if you are aware of all these factors, arthritis can be prevented or the symptoms and damage can certainly be minimized.
(Dr. Manisha Thakare Daware is HOD & Senior Consultant Rheumatologist at Narayana Health & Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, Bangalore)
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