By Dr. K Shanmuganandan, Rheumatology
There are many disorders about which we have a very general idea. For example, common names like diabetes, increased blood urea, hypertension makes the rounds of almost all households, and since they are so popular, people do not try to get into the core of these diseases. Therefore, there are many misconceptions surrounding frequently-occurring diseases. Today we are going to talk about Arthritis, an ailment that everybody has heard of, but very few know inside and out and debunk some of the wrong notions that people have about this disorder.
- Arthritis is a single ailment: Wrong! There are at least 100 types of arthritis and all have different symptoms. Here is a list of the most common types of arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis: Here, the rupture of the cartilage inside the joints which safeguard them, takes place.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This disorder is the result of the immune system attacking the synovium or the lining of the joints.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: A condition where the immune system attacks the entire body, often leading to scaly breakouts on the skin.
- Lupus: A type that not only affects the joints, but also other organs like the kidneys, brain, skin, blood etc.
- Gout: It is not arthritis induced by a defective immune system. In fact, it is caused when crystals form in the joins owing to high levels of uric acid in the body.
- Fibromyalgia: A very different type of arthritis where the brain is affected. Here the brain cannot process normal stimuli and consider them as ones that cause pain.
- Back Pain: It could be a result of many types of arthritis present all at once. It can also be a result of spine injuries and diseases like spondylitis.
- The treatment plan completely depends upon what type of arthritis a person has.
- Arthritis cannot be dealt with: Though arthritis can cause excruciating joint pains, there is nothing that cannot be dealt with. If you take your medicines regularly, exercise and maintain a healthy diet, you will find relief from arthritis as well.
- Anti-inflammatory spices and herbs eliminate the symptoms of Arthritis: Natural herbs and spices like ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties. However, there is no scientific backing to prove that they reduce arthritis. If you are suffering from pain and you want instant relief, take ibuprofen instead.
- Arthritis prevents one from working out: On the contrary, you should actually exercise if you have arthritis. Activities like yoga, tai chi, daily walking, help to strengthen your joint and cartilages and make you fitter.