Osteoarthritis – 5 Myths Busted

Blog, / By Admin

Most of you probably know what is Osteoarthritis. Some of you may know it as the “wear and tear” disease where your cartilage layer wears out. This often results in pain in the knee when doing weight-bearing activities.

As a physiotherapist, I have heard many myths and advice that my patients get from their friends or relatives in order to relieve their pain. However, quite a lot of these advice are either not true, or can have the opposite effect to relieving your pain. I will list some of the most common myths that I hear and explain how true they are.

#1 – Patients With Osteoarthritis Should Avoid Exercise

The evidence from research suggests that there are many benefits that osteoarthritic patients can get from exercising

  • Exercising increases blood flow, and joints and muscles are supplied with more oxygen
  • Weight loss as a result of exercise can help lessen the load that is placed on the joints
  • There are many forms of low impact exercises that can be done without pain such as swimming and tai-chi

#2 – Cracking Your Joints Causes Arthritis

You may feel annoyed by that person you sit next to who continuously crack or pop their knuckles and wish for him to get osteoarthritis because of it later in life. Well, unfortunately research has shown that cracking your joints does not cause arthritis. All the popping sound means is some air is released from the joint capsule or the tendons are adjusting in its position in its gliding path. Unless there is pain accompanying the popping, it is completely harmless.

#3 – Glucosamine-Chondroitin Can Cure Arthritis

Another bad news for those of you who have been told that this is true. Some people even claim that the supplements can regrow your cartilage and reverse the disease. This is categorically untrue.

  • The most that a study has shown is that at higher doses, glucosamine sulfate (1.5g/day) does show some small improvement. Nowhere near being able to regrow the cartilage and cure the disease
  • Chondroitin sulfate in combination with glucosamine has been studied for OA treatment; however, data on its effectiveness is conflicting and weak. Most clinical studies show that these treatments are no more effective than a placebo (sugar pill).


#4 – Osteoarthritis Is Inevitable for Older People

While it is true that old age is one of the biggest contributing factors to getting osteoarthritis, it does not mean you are sure to get it as you get older. Many other factors ,such as history of previous injury, obesity, and genetics, do need to come in to play in order for the disease to develop. This also means that doing the right things when we are younger can help prevent the disease.

#5 – You Need Surgery To Cure It

There are many other treatments for osteoarthritis like physiotherapy, injections and, medications. As with most other condition, surgery is the last option that is considered if all other treatments fail and your condition has caused you great immobility. A lot of people also have the misconception that the only option is to get a joint replacement. That is not true. You can get great relief by getting your bone spurs removed and joints realigned. However, your doctor would be the best person to consult with regards to the different surgical options.

Do contact us if you have any further questions regarding this topic. Below is a video of a quick exercise that maybe helpful for you for this condition. Check out our YouTube Channel for more helpful videos of exercises.