Arthritis affects only Elderly is a Misconception, explains an Expert

ArthritisPeople should end their common misconception that only the old people can suffer from arthritis, it can happen to any age group, says a Nelson rheumatologist.

Today is being celebrated as Arthritis New Zealand's Annual Appeal day, on occasion of which, collections are being made on the streets by the volunteers to help all the 14,600-odd people in the Nelson and Tasman regions, who are living with arthritis.

Clearing the misunderstanding of many people about who was actually affected from the problem, Nelson rheumatologist Dr. David Porter said that "Actually, my typical patient is middle-aged. I have plenty of young people on my books, teenagers and those in their 20s or 30s."

He added that arthritis can also affect children and infants, who are generally treated by paediatricians and paediatric rheumatologists.

Arthritis has two broad categories, first and the most common one is osteoarthritis, which occurs due to the mechanical breakdown in the joints that usually occurs with ageing and thus affects the elderly people. Second is immune based, which is not like osteoarthritis. It could be rheumatoid, which is basically a joint pain and swelling that is caused by an inappropriate immune system response and could affect people belonging to all age groups no matter young or old, Dr. Porter explained.