Bone & joint health Physiotherapy Wellness

It’s Arthritis Month: Let’s separate fact from fiction

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 Fact or fiction? Our physiotherapists correct some common misconceptions about arthritis.

There’s nothing you can do for arthritis, you just have to live with it.”

FICTION

The facts: Actually, there’s a lot people can do for arthritis, and the most important is weight loss. Losing between 5 and 10 per cent of your current body weight (if you are overweight) can reduce pain dramatically by reducing stress on hips and knees. Talk to a physiotherapist about more ways to reduce pain and swelling associated with arthritis and how to improve your day-to-day function (like daily exercise!)

Find more information on body weight and arthritis from Johns Hopkins Arthritis Centre.

If I exercise, it will make the arthritis worse.”

FICTION

The facts: Evidence shows the opposite! Exercise can help!

It might hurt a little when you start out – but keep at it!  Start with low impact exercise for a short amount of time and it won’t harm you. Try swimming, walking with poles or biking in bouts of 10 minutes. Find more information about that here.

It isn’t serious, it’s just Arthritis.”

FICTION

The facts: Actually,  arthritis is very serious, especially when it starts to affect how much you can walk, and your ability to work and do the activities you enjoy. People can start to feel ‘down in the dumps’ or have a depressed mood when their life is affected in this way. Arthritis needs to be – and can be – treated.

I should wait until I can barely walk before I get treatment.”

FICTION

The facts: Don’t wait that long! Evidence shows you may be disappointed with the results of hip or knee replacement if you wait too long. You may have a hard time getting good function back and that’s because your pre-operative function predicts your post-operative function. Talk to your orthopaedic care team about when to seek hip or knee replacement.

About the author

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Alexis Dobranowski

Alexis Dobranowski is a Communications Advisor at Sunnybrook.

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