Monday May. 08, 2023
woman lifting weights
Debunking Orthopedic Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

6 Minute Read

Reviewed By: Dr. Jason Walters


Orthopedics is a medical specialization that focuses on the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves. It is involved in diagnosing and treating disorders or injuries related to these structures, such as fractures, dislocations, arthritis, tendonitis, and sports-related injuries. Orthopedic care also covers preventive measures like exercise programs to help maintain good health. In addition to orthopedic surgery involving joint replacement or repairing damaged tissue with artificial implants, other forms of treatment may include pain medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation exercises.

Do you know when to seek help for a sports injury? Do home remedies really work for knee and shoulder pain? Many questions about orthopedic health still remain unanswered, and unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around. It can be confusing trying to figure out what’s true or false in the world of orthopedics. But never fear! This blog post is here to help separate fact from fiction and debunk many long-standing myths associated with orthopedic health. Get ready to learn the truth behind some common hip, back, knee, and shoulder issues—you may even find that your own beliefs have been challenged! With knowledge comes power; understanding more about various conditions can empower us all to make better care decisions down the road.

Myth #1 - Using a computer for a long time can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is not caused by using a computer or other office equipment, despite what most people think. Although this might worsen the condition if someone already has it, the cause is rarely due to typing or mouse usage. Repetitive strain and overexertion of hand muscles, ligaments, and tendons can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, but it usually results from something else, such as genetics or medical conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Knowing the facts is key to understanding why prevention and treatment are so important for this common yet debilitating condition.

Myth #2 - You can only get tennis or golfer's elbow by playing those sports.

This is a common misconception. It's actually caused by doing the same wrist and forearm movements over and over again. The name comes from the sports that are most closely linked to these problems. In reality, any individual who performs activities involving repeated rotations of their wrist or forearm can suffer from these injuries, regardless of whether they habitually play tennis or golf. Therefore, it is important for those engaging in frequent forearm motions to be conscious of how often they are doing so and take breaks as needed in order to avoid an overuse injury.

Myth #3 - You do not have a fracture if you are able to move the affected body part.

Myth #3 is one of the most common orthopedic misconceptions – that you don't have a fracture if you can move an affected body part. It's not always the case, however; fractures occur when a bone either partially or fully breaks, which means its range of movement can remain unaffected even though the bone itself has been fractured. Sometimes movement is limited on the injured side due to pain or swelling caused by the trauma, but having full mobility does not rule out a fracture. If you experience significant trauma to a body part and are unsure if it resulted in a fracture, it's important to seek evaluation from a medical professional who can help clarify your diagnosis and make sure you're receiving appropriate treatment.

Myth #4 - Cracking your joints causes arthritis.

It is a common misconception that cracking your joints causes arthritis and can further worsen existing arthritis pain. However, this is not actually the case. In fact, according to a major study conducted in 2016 involving over 45,000 participants, there was no association found between knuckle cracking and osteoarthritis. So don’t worry—you can still crack your joints as long as you find it comfortable and don’t do it too often, since repeated knuckle-cracking may cause microtrauma and lead to joint problems in the long run.

Myth #5 - Lifting weights will increase joint pain and stiffness.

It is a popular belief that lifting weights will lead to increased joint stiffness and pain, but this could not be further from the truth! Lifting weights actually strengthens your muscles around the joints, helping support the body and making it less vulnerable to common joint injuries. Furthermore, when you perform low-impact exercises with resistance bands or light dumbbells, it can help improve mobility and reduce stiffness in joints. Whatever exercise program works best for you, make sure you’re consistent. Strengthening muscles will go a long way towards reducing joint pains or stiffness and enhancing your quality of life.

Myth #6 - Orthopedic medicine is only for athletes.Physical Therapy Patient Using Physiotherapy Bands For Rehabilitation

Orthopedic medicine isn't just for athletes – anyone who experiences pain or other physical ailments affecting their musculoskeletal system can benefit from this field of medicine. It's so much more than helping professional athletes with sports injuries. Doctors practicing orthopedics specialize in diagnosing and treating a variety of issues, ranging from chronic neck and back pain to arthritis, labral tears, ACL repairs, rotator cuff injuries, instability conditions such as elbow or knee sprains or dislocations, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more. A compassionate orthopedic specialist can offer effective solutions to help you manage your pain, limit the need for further surgery, and improve your quality of life.

Myth #7 - If it hurts to move, physical therapy won't be possible.

On the contrary, physical therapy is one of the best ways to treat pain and injuries in the muscles, bones, and joints. It can help you safely gain range of motion and strength in a way that ultimately reduces your pain—even if it hurts to move when you begin treatment. Physical therapists are highly knowledgeable professionals who understand how to assess and treat common orthopedic ailments with specific exercises, stretches, manual therapy techniques, therapeutic modalities, and more. They will work closely with you to create an individualized plan tailored to your needs and lifestyle that can help reduce symptoms and prevent future flare-ups.

Need to see an orthopedic doctor?

An orthopedic doctor can help with pain or other problems with bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and nerves. If you have any of these issues, you should see an orthopedic doctor. They can help make sure you are healthy and that your body is feeling good. They can also provide advice and treatment options for any medical conditions you may have.
Make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist as soon as possible if you are having pain, swelling, or other problems with your muscles and bones. Orthopedics is a complex field that includes knowledge of the entire human body and its many components, so be sure to look for someone who specializes in the area that affects you. With the help of experienced professionals, you’ll know that you’re getting the best care available—and that means peace of mind!

Key Takeaways

It is essential to be aware of the facts and separate them from fiction when it comes to orthopedic health. This blog post has debunked six common myths related to musculoskeletal issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis/golfer's elbow, fractures, joint cracking, weight lifting, who can benefit from orthopedic medicine, and the benefits of physical therapy. Knowing more about these conditions helps us make better care decisions in the future. It’s important to remember that prevention is key when it comes to managing pain or other physical ailments affecting your body.

It is important to keep in mind that no single person’s experience with joint pain or bone health is ever the same. It is always best to seek professional medical advice to ensure a comfortable and healthy life. Orthopedics remains one of the more complex fields of medicine and often requires personalized care. As with anything, prevention is always best, so be sure to educate yourself on the latest studies on nutrition, exercise, and even supplements such as glucosamine when managing joint pain or discomfort. After all, knowledge is power! Taking steps now to reduce stress on your joints will only help in the long run. With this newfound knowledge now at your fingertips, you can make better decisions for your health and move forward confidently, knowing what’s fact vs. fiction when it comes to orthopedic issues.

Broward Health, providing service for more than 85 years, is a nationally recognized system in South Florida that offers world-class healthcare to all. The Broward Health system includes the statutory teaching hospital Broward Health Medical Center, Broward Health North, Broward Health Imperial Point, Broward Health Coral Springs, Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston, Broward HealthPoint, Broward Health Physician Group, Broward Health Urgent Care, Broward Health International, and Broward Health Foundation. For more information, visit BrowardHealth.org.