Doctor Xiehe refutes the rumor: Is osteoarthritis really frozen out?

Every time I cool down, I always hear such words: “wear more, don’t freeze arthritis”, “you need grace when you are young, and you will know bitterness when you are old”, “you are young now” , when you are old, you will know that it is for your own good to ask you to wear more clothes.” And so on.

Is arthritis really frozen out? Will I get arthritis if I don’t wear long pants?

What exactly is osteoarthritis?

Taking the knee joint as an example, the surface of the two bones of the normal knee joint is wrapped by a layer of smooth and elastic “articular cartilage”, coupled with the protection of ligaments and muscles near the knee, It reduces the impact and wear on bones during daily activities.

However, the long-term and frequent wear and tear of knee cartilage can lead to degeneration, narrowing the bone space and increasing joint friction. As a result, problems such as joint pain, limited mobility and even joint deformities occur.

Image source: Figure Worm Creative

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

General osteoarthritis has more obvious symptoms:

1. Joint pain

2. Morning stiffness, stickiness

3. Swollen joints

What are some common myths about osteoarthritis?

1. Will I get arthritis if I don’t wear long johns in cold weather?

Cold weather does not cause arthritis, but cold weather can make arthritis symptoms more pronounced. But not wearing long johns in cold weather and arthritis cannot be equated.

2. Will you get arthritis from breaking your fingers too often?

The habitual little action of finger-cracking does not cause arthritis, nor does it cause the finger joints to become thicker, only the swelling or bone hyperplasia after the joint is damaged will become thicker.

3. If there is a clicking sound in the joint, is it arthritis?

Not necessarily, under normal circumstances, the snapping sounds at the joints are physiological snapping sounds, especially for young people who have no pain symptoms, it is likely that the ligament friction or the sudden position between the joint structures It is normal to change the sound produced.

However, when older people experience joint pain, limited movement, and snapping, it is recommended to go to the hospital as soon as possible to find a professional doctor to identify whether it is arthritis.

4. Can calcium supplementation treat osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is not calcium deficiency. Osteoarthritis is caused by degeneration and wear of the cartilage on the joint surface. However, appropriate calcium supplementation for middle-aged and elderly people can prevent osteoporosis, and appropriate calcium supplementation can help to delay the degeneration of joint function.

5. Only the elderly can get osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is not exclusive to the elderly. Many young people may cause osteoarthritis due to irregular exercise or long-term inactivity.

6. After suffering from osteoarthritis, you must rest and not exercise at all?

Nowadays, many people with osteoarthritis stop all activities and stay in bed for a long time.

Such a practice is not conducive to arthritis recovery, and may even make arthritis symptoms worse. And inactivity can lead to muscle wasting and osteoporosis.

As long as the right amount of exercise, without increasing wear and tear, exercise muscle strength, can strengthen the stability of joints, reduce the symptoms of arthritis, and delay the deterioration of joint function.

Image source: Figure Worm Creative

How to care for osteoarthritis everyday?

1. Moderate and reasonable exercise

Daily small movements can help protect the knee joint. In addition, some moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as: walking, swimming can also be.

2. Reasonable diet to control weight

Excessive body weight can accelerate the wear and tear of the soft tissues of the joints, leading to earlier joint degeneration. Therefore, it is recommended that obese or overweight people control their weight, give kneesJoint relief.

3. Appropriate use of auxiliary facilities

Osteoarthritis patients can properly use some auxiliary facilities in their daily activities, which can reduce the load on joints, such as: commonly used canes, knee pads, walkers, etc., to assist patients with limb movement , to reduce wear and impact on joints.

4. Choose the right shoes

Osteoarthritis patients must choose suitable shoes for normal activities. For elderly patients, they should choose shoes with soft heels with anti-slip corrugations to avoid falling.

Author: Li Zheng, Deputy Chief Physician, Spine Department, Peking Union Medical College Hospital

Editor: Chun Yujun