Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is commonly referred to as, “the invisible illness.” But while it may not come up on scans or in blood work, the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on your body are anything but invisible. If you don’t have rheumatoid arthritis, it can be difficult to understand exactly what your friends or family members with the disease are going through. That’s why we’ve asked the professionals at Orthopaedic Specialty Group to dispel some of the most common myths surrounding RA.
Myth: It’s similar to having an achy knee or elbow.
Fact: While there’s no denying that arthritis can be uncomfortable, it’s not the same as rheumatoid arthritis. Because RA can also affect your organs, as well as joints, it tends to be much more painful.
Myth: Treatment is essentially a cure.
Fact: Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, however, there are treatment options. One of the most popular forms of controlling the illness is through medication and physical therapy.
Myth: Rheumatoid arthritis is always debilitating.
Fact: Rheumatoid arthritis affects everyone differently. Sometimes, it can affect the same person differently, depending on the day. Some rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have stated that while some days they need a wheelchair to get around, other days they are fine to walk. This, however, brings about problems of its own, as people have been known to suspect RA sufferers of lying about their condition.
Myth: Fatigue is similar to feeling tired, so people with RA just need to “perk up.”
Fact: Though fatigue is often used synonymously with feeling tired, it’s not the same thing. Sometimes people with RA are so fatigued that they have difficulty doing simple tasks, like washing their hair or making dinner.
If you suffer from arthritis, help is available from Orthopaedic Specialty Group. As southern Connecticut’s largest and most experienced orthopedic practice, our team of doctors can prescribe a wide range of treatment options to alleviate your joint pain. If you live in Fairfield County, call us to schedule an appointment at (203) 337-2600.