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Scare tactic or serious? 5 Spooky Stories About Joint Health:

We’re celebrating Halloween all week long by debunking common myths. Read on to learn the facts.

MYTH #1: Exercise makes arthritis pain worse.

FACT: Lack of exercise can actually make joints feel stiff. One of the most important ways to maintain strength, range of motion and even minimize arthritis pain is through regular exercise. All joints need rest between exercise sessions, and you should be sure to work with your doctor to select the right exercise regimen for you, but don’t assume that exercise will make your symptoms worse.

MYTH #2: Popping Your Knuckles turns your hands into claws fit for a zombie.

FACT: The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the release of gas from between your joints, which some may consider as gross as zombie claws. But making that cracking sound does not cause joint damage nor will it cause arthritis or zombie symptoms.

Myth #3: You can’t be active after joint replacement surgery.

FACT: We don’t have to look far to know that joint replacement has allowed so many people to maintain their level of activity – after a proper recovery, of course. In fact, that’s the motivation for many to consider a joint replacement: the ability to Be Active and pain free! With today’s minimally invasive options, many patients are walking and participating in other activities very soon after their procedures, and return to their pre-surgery activity levels with proper rehabilitation. 

MYTH #4: There is no such thing as “growing pains.”

FACT: Growing pains are actually something more than a cheesy 80’s sitcom. They are a real – and common – part of growing up. As the name implies, growing bones cause the pain, but many children also feel this type of pain after particularly active days. The trick for parents is to watch for symptoms that could be more serious, such as tender, red or swollen joints, weakness or chronic stiffness. While many kids do simply have growing pains, see a doctor if you child has ongoing pain so they can be treated and prevent long-term problems.

Happy Halloween! We wrap up our week of scary stories with Myth #5: The most serious sports injuries typically occur at the highest levels of competition.

FACT: It is true that, on average, the rate and severity of injury increases with a child’s age. But STOPSportsInjuries.org reminds us that high school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations each year; and children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals.

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