Unknown to most, arthritis is a disease that affects 15 per cent of the Indian population. So far recognized as an old man's disease it has the young brigade falling prey to it too.
Referring to a bone disease, osteo in osteoporosis means bone, and porosis refers to the condition of softening.
Experts suggest that men and women reach their peak bone mass in mid to late 20s. “Bones are constantly being replenished as the old bones are wrecked and new bone tissues are produced. Generally in the mid 30s bone resorption commences to outpace bone arrangement resulting in a gradual loss of density. However, nowadays this is quite prevalent even among young people,” says Orthonova Hospital’s orthopedic surgeon Dr Dhananjay Gupta.
“Attribute it to your sedentary lifestyle or blame it on the high intake of alcohol and steroids - we the desktop champs, are doing no good to our knees,” warns Dr Gupta.
Adding to this list is long and frequent traveling by car or plane. “High heels along with damaging intake of junk food, results in excessive free radicals (highly reactive molecules which are alleged agents of tissue damage) leading to recurring stress injury to the knee,” says Dr P.K. Dave, orthopedic surgeon, Former director AIIMS.
Dr ON Nagi, consultant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital says that arthritis often has no symptoms, until the bones are so compromised that the most negligible of bumps could mean a fracture.
Most types of arthritis cause pain in your joints and might cause you trouble moving around.
Establishing the correct diagnosis early is very important because the sooner appropriate treatment is started, the better chances of avoiding disability or deformity. When you are dealing with any type of arthritis joint pain, having extra weight can make it worse.
“Most people with arthritis can lead active and productive lives with the help of the right medication, surgery (in some cases), exercise, rest and joint protection techniques,” adds Dr Gupta.Using good body mechanics and proper body positions allows you to use your body more efficiently and helps conserve energy.
“Walking is a non-debilitating and well proven antidote for arthritis pain and must be a part of your daily routine,” adds Dr Dave. Avoid keeping your joints in the same position for a prolonged period of time, this will make them stiff. So, keep them moving.
Using hot and cold compresses can also help ease the pain that stems from arthritis. “Exercising is the most recommended form of pain management, but this must be treated cautiously,” enlightens Dr Nagi. Not all forms of exercise may be suitable for you.
Arthritis need not become the monster it has been painted out to be, it all depends on how we choose to deal with it.
Read more articles on Arthritis.