Arthritis affects more than 500 million people worldwide, making it a serious and common disability among adults. Degenerative disease can be separated into two categories. Osteoarthritis (OA) is known as wear and tear arthritis due to the way the cartilage in the joints deteriorates over time. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) also affects the joints, but it can affect the muscles, connective tissue, tendons, and fibrous tissue. Unfortunately, common myths about arthritis leave many people with mistaken impressions about this illness.

Arthritis Only Affects Seniors

While 49.7% of seniors aged over 65 have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, that doesn’t mean younger adults can’t develop this condition. It’s estimated that 30.3% of people within the 45 to 64 age range have also been diagnosed with arthritis. 7.3% of adults between 18 and 44 have also been diagnosed with the illness. People aged between 20 and 40 face the highest risk of developing RA.

Joint Pain is Always a Symptom of Arthritis

You should always see your doctor when you experience joint pain. There are many different types of joint pain and several causes. You may have suffered an injury, developed bursitis, or have another medical condition that’s causing the pain. Joint discomfort isn’t always an indication that you will develop arthritis in the future.

Avoid Exercise if You Have Arthritis

This is a popular arthritis myth that does more harm than good since it keeps people from helping themselves. Although you should consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, physical activity can actually improve your condition. Exercise helps build muscle, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow. As a result of these physiological changes, you’ll feel less joint and muscle pain. You may also see an increase in your mobility.

Ice Shouldn’t Be Used to Treat pain

While heat can help alleviate some arthritis pain, cold packs can also benefit you. Ice helps reduce inflammation, which is the root cause of joint and muscle pain. Applying ice for 20 minutes three times a day can also help reduce visible swelling around the joints.

If you suspect you’re developing arthritis, you should visit your doctor to determine whether you have OA or RA. Depending on the type of arthritis afflicting you, there may be medications, lifestyle changes, or medical procedures that can alleviate your symptoms. As medical technology advances, living with arthritis is becoming easier.