BONAVISTA PHYSICAL THERAPY  |  739 Lake Bonavista Dr. SE, Calgary  |  Lower Level of Bonavista Medical Clinic

Top 5 Arthritis Myths



MYTH #1:

“Physio is not going to help – The X-RAY shows ‘bone-on-bone’”…



It has been proven that X-Ray changes alone do not predict the pain or function of a joint.

Many people exhibiting advanced osteoarthritis in their X-Rays are not even aware that they have it, and some people with very minor X-Ray changes experience severe pain in their joints.



MYTH #2:

“… so there is nothing I can do to treat my arthritis!”



Yes, there are some non-modifiable risk factors involved in osteoarthritis such as:

  • Age
  • Heredity
  • Sex
  • Previous injuries.

However, there are a variety of risk factors that we CAN CHANGE; these include:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Overuse
  • Muscle weakness/imbalances and
  • Excess weight

It is never too late to make changes to your lifestyle – sometimes just a small change can lead to a huge difference in arthritis pain and joint function.



MYTH #3:

“Osteoarthritis is a ‘wear and tear’ disease”.



Osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs when there is an imbalance between the break down and rebuilding of cartilage. As cartilage breaks down, it allows the bones to rub together causing joint pain and dysfunction.

Arthritis can affect any joint that has cartilage around the end of the bones – it most commonly affects the hip, knee, and hand joints.



MYTH #4:

“I should protect my joint by using it less – especially when it hurts”



Cartilage naturally breaks down and rebuilds, but in order for it to do this properly it needs the appropriate amount of load. This can be achieved through exercise.

Exercise loads and unloads the joint, which helps move synovial fluid around within the joint and provides nutrients to the cartilage (physiotherapists love science).

However; the appropriate amount of loading and unloading, along with proper movement technique are extremely important during exercise. If movements are performed properly, joint pain from arthritis can be reduced!

Book an appointment with one of our specially trained physical therapists who will teach you various exercises that, when performed as directed, will decrease your arthritis pain.



MYTH #5:

“I can’t exercise – it hurts”!



When it comes to osteoarthritis, excessive inactivity is worse than activity. Limiting activity causes:

  • Poor joint nutrition
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Increasing weight problems
  • Withdrawal from fun activities
  • Depression

All of the above can speed up the degeneration process!

The benefits of exercise:

  • Reduced joint pain
  • Endorphin release so less pain and improved mood
  • Improved strength and range of motion therefore better function
  • Better quality sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Improved bone density
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved energy levels

You do not get MORE arthritis by being physically active – being physically active in the right way usually DECREASES THE PAIN associated with osteoarthritis. Exercise can also prolong the life of your joints!

Book an appointment online and one of our physical therapists will get you started with and individualized exercise program!




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