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Arthritis Myths

Myth 1 – “Arthritis is a disease of the elderly.”
Did you know arthritis is the leading cause of disability for people over the age of 15? Age is just a number and arthritis can affect anyone, at any age. Three out of five Canadians with arthritis are under age 65. Arthritis is also among the most common chronic diseases in children, affecting one in 1,000 children.

Myth 2 – “Arthritis is a single disease.”
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. It can affect a single joint, multiple joints, or it can be an autoimmune disease that attacks the whole body. Different types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and ankylosing spondylitis.

Myth 3 – “Arthritis is just aches and pains.”
Arthritis is a leading cause of pain, physical disability and health care utilization in Canada. It can make daily activities—getting dressed, opening a door or even walking up stairs—extremely difficult or impossible. Inflammatory forms of the disease can cause the destruction of joints and soft tissues around the joints causing pain, disability, lost quality of life, and in severe cases, early death.

Myth 4 – “Arthritis isn’t a big deal.”
Arthritis is among the top three chronic diseases in Canada and can be devastating, disabling and fatal. As Canada’s most common cause of disability, arthritis disables two to three times more workers than all other chronic conditions. So arthritis should never be dismissed as unimportant. Early detection can set the course for treatment and actions that can greatly reduce the effects of arthritis and improve quality of life. 

Myth 5 – “Exercise is bad for arthritis.”
Exercise is a key management strategy for arthritis as it protects joints by strengthening the muscles and tissues around them. Physical activity actually ‘feeds’ the joints, because cartilage depends on joint movement to absorb nutrients and remove waste. Weight management is also critical. For each pound of excess body weight lost, there is a corresponding four-fold reduction in the load exerted on the knee joint during daily activities.

Where can you learn more about arthritis? 

ArthritisID App for iPhone and iPad ArthritisID
Is the most comprehensive free arthritis app for consumers, featuring the most current, evidence-based arthritis information to help detect, treat and manage arthritis. Go to the iTunes App store to download ArthritisID.

For more arthritis information, please visit:

Arthritis Consumer Experts:  jointhealth.org

Arthritis Research Centre of Canada: arthritisresearch.ca

Arthritis Society: arthritis.ca