What are some common myths about arthritis?

Myth: Arthritis is an old person’s disease.

  • Arthritis affects one in every two people over 65 years of age.
  • Nearly 3 out of 5 people with arthritis are younger than 65 years of age.
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common chronic illnesses of childhood.

Myth: Arthritis is just a normal part of aging.

  • Nearly half of the elderly population never experience conditions associated with arthritis.
  • Approximately 294,000 children under the age of 18 are affected by pediatric arthritis and rheumatologic conditions.
  • Some forms of arthritis (e.g., osteoarthritis of the knee) can be prevented.

Myth: There is no cure for most forms of arthritis.

  • While no "magic bullet" exists for all types of arthritis, research shows that early diagnosis and appropriate management can help reduce the consequences associated with many types of arthritis.
  • Medication, education, physical activity, and surgery are four effective treatment strategies that can indeed make a difference.
  • The Arthritis Foundation's self-help course has been shown to reduce pain by 20 percent and physician visits by 40 percent.

What are the risk factors for arthritis?

  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Joint injuries
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Infections
  • Certain occupations

How can arthritis be prevented?

  • Weight management, proper nutrition, and physical activity can all work together to prevent certain forms of arthritis.
  • Exercise and self-management programs are effective in reducing the pain and disability associated with arthritis and related diseases.