One myth is that people think that Rheumatoid Arthritis is just like any regular arthritis like osteoarthritis, which is caused by normal wear and tear. However RA is a chronic, progressive autoimmune disease. The biggest problem in people getting it mixed up is that quite often people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis quite often develop Osteoarthritis.
Another myth is that many think that only old people get RA, whereas in fact the most people who start with this disease are aged between 30 55. However, anyone can actually get RA but you find the older have it worse than the younger but that’s just because they have been living with the disease for longer.
It’s not true that most people with RA end up in a wheelchair or nursing home because of the disease as RA takes a different course in different people, but most go on living independently. However, due to the nature of the progress of this disease, it can cause disability in many people.
Some say that most people with RA cannot work. This is another incorrect myth as although some work tasks may need to change it doesn’t mean a lifetime of disability. In fact, according to a study of people with RA for more than 10 years, their employment rates were no different than those of similar age people without RA.
Although some myths say otherwise it is essential that RA is treated as early as possible to prevent joint damage and disability. Numerous studies suggest that early treatment could delay full-blown rheumatoid arthritis from developing in some people.
One really important myth which is quite wrong is that they say painful, stiff joints from RA need to rest most of the day. On the contrary, joints affected by RA need stretching and exercise, like other types of arthritis. In fact, everyone with any type of arthritis should try and perform some kind of exercise, be it stretching, low impact aerobic, or walking.
To find out lots more about RA take a look on the website http://www.nras.org.uk/