Debunking arthritis myths

This article was updated in May 2022 to reflect new information.


In this article:

  • Arthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability, affecting one in four adults in the United States.

  • Home remedies like physical activity can help you better manage arthritis.

  • In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month, we’re debunking myths about the condition.

Arthritis affects one in four U.S. adults – more than 50 million people. Yet although the condition is common, especially as you get older, its symptoms of joint pain, stiffness and swelling are not a normal part of aging. Nor does it require immediate attention from a doctor.

There are things you can try at home to help alleviate arthritis pain. One of the main recommendations is exercise, which can decrease pain and improve physical function by about 40%. Incorporating gentle stretches and walking into your daily routine will help move your joints through their full range of motion. Other home remedies include over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and applying ice or a heating pad to the affected area to increase circulation.

In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month this May, we’re taking a look at some common misconceptions about the condition. Knowing what’s fact and what’s fiction about the causes and treatments of arthritis is an important step in managing it.

While home remedies for arthritis are often effective, there are times when it’s important to see a doctor. These include when joint pain is accompanied by redness, swelling or tenderness. Or when you have symptoms that affect your ability to move freely throughout your day.


Find a doctor

If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory. Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can also access a full range of healthcare services.

Related resources

Arthritis Foundation

5 ways to combat the stiff joints of arthritis

Racket or paddle sports may offer greatest benefits

When launching an exercise routine with arthritis, look for a custom fit


This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.




About the Author

From how to identify and treat heart diseases to exercise tips to maintain an active lifestyle, the Providence Senior's Health team is committed to providing real-world advice that is hyper-relevant to helping those 65+ find ways stay young at heart

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