Cracking the myths surrounding arthritis and joint pains
Musculoskeletal complaints such as joint pain and arthritis have been recognized as a major cause of chronic pain by the World Health Organization. Today, let us help you crack several myths concerning joint pain and arthritis.
1. My joints hurt. This must be arthritis!
Not all joint pain is considered arthritis. Our joints are surrounded and protected by ligaments, tendons and muscles. It is important to differentiate if the pain is coming from the joint itself or the surrounding structures. A visit to your nearest rheumatologist can help you evaluate the cause of joint pain.
2. Arthritis is caused by eating vegetables such as monggo and legumes.
There are minimal food restrictions for patients with arthritis. A balanced diet is recommended for all patients with arthritis. Patients with gout are advised to lessen intake of purine-rich foods particularly alcoholic beverages, internal organs and fructose containing beverages. Vegetables such as monggo, legumes, and nuts are not contraindicated for patients with gout.
3. Arthritis is caused by high levels of uric acid.
High levels of uric acid may be observed among patients with arthritis. There are many types of arthritis that can be caused by a variety of factors such as underlying autoimmune disease, faulty biomechanics, infection and a lot of other factors.
Gouty arthritis is the only arthritis caused by overproduction or underexcretion of uric acid. Gout usually affects men as early as their 20’s and is characterized by intermittent bouts of severe joint pain affecting the big toe, ankles or knees. Women are rarely affected by gout until they reach post-menopausal age.
Levels of uric acid can also be normal during the time of an arthritic attack among patients with gout.
4. Arthritis is a disease of the elderly.
Arthritis can also occur in children and young adults. A child who complains of joint pain should be evaluated by a pediatric rheumatologist to differentiate if these are due to growing pains or be a symptom of a systemic rheumatic disease.
5. Arthritis is normal among the elderly and does not need further evaluation.
Musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis can cause chronic pain and lead to morbidity and disability. Further evaluation is needed to prevent loss of productivity among patients with these conditions.
Your experts are just a click away! Visit us at http://rheumatology.org.ph to see the list of rheumatologists across the Philippines.