Recently, we helped you uncover the facts and myths about COPD. This week, we’re taking on some more myths, this time regarding osteoarthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, characterized by the breakdown of the joint’s cartilage. Let’s explore some more information about what OA is and what it isn’t.
True or False? Arthritis only happens to the elderly.
False. It’s true that as one ages, the prevalence of both inflammatory arthritis and OA increases, but arthritis doesn’t only strike the elderly. Inflammatory arthritis, which occurs more frequently in families with a history of these types of diseases, may begin early in life, while OA typically starts a little later, in the middle age years, most often after age 45.
True or False? Arthritis is triggered by a cold, wet climate.
Most likely false. Studies that have looked into whether or not cold or wet weather bring on arthritis haven’t been conclusive. However, many arthritis sufferers have reported that moving to a warmer climate actually helped their conditions.
True or False? Those with OA suffer from inflammation of the joints.
False. Generally, when people think of arthritis, they think of inflammation. But with OA, it is not believed that inflammation plays much or any role.
True or False? There’s a cure for arthritis.
False, but researchers are getting closer. Today, scientists are learning that the molecules that are involved in inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis respond to an increasingly wider array of medications than we had available 20-30 years ago. For osteoarthritis, the only current cure is joint replacement. A person’s body doesn’t have any way of re-growing cartilage once it has worn away. However, surgically replacing it can provide substantial relief in people who have very advanced osteoarthritis.
An in-home care provider, many of our clients come to us with a history of OA to request help in regularly cleaning their homes or assisting them with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as, bathing, dressing, shopping, etc., in order to continue to live an active, independent lifestyle.
If you or a loved one are faced with a declining level of movement or increasing restrictions because of OA, consider a free in-home assessment by our RN. This evaluation will assist you or your loved one in making an informed decision on how or whether to obtain home-care services to stay safely at home. Call us at (208) 777-0308 if in the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls or Hayden areas; or (208) 263-7889 if in the Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry or Priest River areas; or (208) 784-1505 if in the Kellogg, Wallace or Pinehurst areas. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have on how we can assist you or your loved one in staying safely and effectively at home.