A lot of people search for health and medical information on the Internet. You may find the number of sites or the amount of information overwhelming. It can be difficult to judge the accuracy of information on the Web. So don't believe everything you read online. For information on conditions relating to bones, joints, or muscles, ask your orthopaedist. He or she can recommend a quality Website. Also ask if your doctor has his or her own Website that you can access for medical information.
The following tips from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases can also help you find quality health information online:
- Compare information you find on the Internet with other resources. These can include medical textbooks, medical journals, or information from organizations such as the National Osteoporosis Foundation or the Arthritis Foundation.
- Check the credentials of the author or organization. These should be clearly displayed on the Website. Be cautious of personal testimonies. These are based on one person's experience rather than objective facts or proven medical research. Also be cautious about using information from online bulletin boards or chat sessions.
- Be cautious of Websites that advertise and sell products. These may claim to improve your health, but if the Website is promoting a product or service, the information may be slanted to support the use of that product or service. Some reliable Websites provide health information. These include Websites of government agencies, health foundations, or associations and medical colleges. Check the posting date. Information changes rapidly in healthcare. The information on an old Website may no longer be current.
- Talk with your doctor about the information you find on the Internet. This is especially important if you find information or advice that seems to contradict what your doctor told you.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
6300 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018