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Facts & Myths of Bone Health

  1. Cracking knuckles cause arthritis. 
  2. Dry, warm weather helps relieve joint pain. 
  3. Diet can be a factor in preventing arthritis. 
  4. Broken bones are the only way to tell if you have osteoporosis. 
  5. Women are more prone to osteoporosis. 
  6. You should stop exercising if you have knee pain. 

  1. Cracking knuckles cause arthritis.

    Cracking your knuckles does not cause arthritis. Your joints contain a lubricating liquid, known as the synovial fluid. This liquid helps to reduce friction between your joints. Cracking your knuckles produce a “pop” sound because bubbles found in the synovial fluid burst when you pull your bones slightly apart by stretching your fingers or bending them backwards. Although cracking knuckles does not cause arthritis, this habit may lead to hand injuries such as weaker grip.
     

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  3. Dry, warm weather helps relieve joint pain.

    Some studies show that higher humidity levels increase joint pain and stiffness, especially in cold weather. This is because cold and rainy weather is normally linked to a drop in air pressure. The change in air pressure causes inflamed joints to expand, resulting in pain. Hence, some people may feel that drier and warmer weather provides relief in joint pain.  

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  5. Diet can be a factor in preventing arthritis.

    Some studies may show that food that has some anti-inflammatory properties (such as olive oil and fish that is high in omega 3), may help with arthritis. However, there is not enough evidence to prove that diet is truly a factor in preventing arthritis. Diet, when combined with exercise, can help with weight loss. It is important to note that weight loss may help improve pain associated with arthritis, especially in people who are overweight. 

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  7. Broken bones are the only way to tell if you have osteoporosis.

    You don’t need to suffer from broken bones to find out if you have osteoporosis! Osteoporosis is a medical condition which causes your bones to become weak and fragile. Most hospitals in Singapore conduct the Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test, which measures the density of your bones. This test can identify your risk of getting a fracture or if you have osteoporosis. The test is similar to having an X-ray. Your doctor may recommend you to be tested for osteoporosis if you have certain risk factors.   

     
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  9. Women are more prone to osteoporosis.
    Osteoporosis is a medical condition which causes bones to become weak and fragile. Women are about four times more likely to suffer from this condition compared to men. Oestrogen, a female hormone, is needed to maintain and protect your bones. The level of oestrogen decreases after menopause and causes loss of bone mass in women. Hence, women in their 50s lose their bone mass faster than men. However, when men and women are both in their late 60s, the rate of loss of bone is similar among the two genders.
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  11. You should stop exercising if you have knee pain.
    Resting too much can cause your muscles to be weaker and cause more knee pain. Doing exercises such as walking, swimming or cycling on a stationary bike will help to maintain the strength of the muscles supporting your knee to prevent more injury.

    If you are overweight, exercising can also help with weight loss and reduce the stress on your knee, helping with pain. However, avoid exercises or sports that require have high loads on your knee such jumping jacks as they can worsen your knee pain.

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