Let's save our Generation Next from arthritis pain, says Dr Manuj Wadhwa, Director and Head, Max Elite Institute of Orthopedics and Joint Replacement Surgery. Arthritis affects over 15% approximately 180 million people in India, which is higher than many well-known diseases.
While much has been said about the high incidence of Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer and HIV in India, recent studies suggest that Osteoarthritis beats them all to claim the no. 1 slot among ailments in the country.
Contrary to the misconception that arthritis only impacts the elderly, this disorder is increasingly found in the younger population. Age is not a factor for arthritis; it can affect young and old alike. Earlier, arthritis patients would be around 65 years or so, but now the younger lot in the age group of 40-45 yrs which is normally considered to be in their golden years are increasingly turning up for surgery. Higher levels of stress coupled with modern day lifestyles are increasing the incidence of Arthritis. The best way to beating Arthritis is by staying active.
The key to arthritis management is finding a balance between activities and rest-exercising, as too much may stress sensitive joints while being too sedentary can cause stiffness and immobility. Stretching and gentle movements such as Yoga are easy on the joints and keep them fluid and supple.
Exercises such as riding a bike, swimming and water aerobics keep the heart healthy and muscles strong while putting too much pressure on the joints. Low impact exercises allow you to work your muscles without stressing your joints.Stretching often increases muscle tone and can help boost the range of motion of your joints. Just make sure you warm up your muscles and joints before stretching before warming up can further aggravate joint pain and even strain your muscles. By varying activities and following a well-rounded exercise routine with variety can help to maintain strength and protect your joints.
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on your joints, especially weight-bearing joints like your hips and knees. In addition, this can slow down the wear on your joints during daily activities such as walking.
When you have experienced a joint injury, protecting that joint will lower the chances of developing arthritis later. By taking care not to injure the joint again, you may also decrease the intensity of symptoms should arthritis develop later. Remember always listen to your body, Stop exercising if you experience sharp pain and don't try to work through joint discomfort.
Find activities that are gentle on the body and take them at a comfortable pace. Lastly but not the least, Drinking enough water keeps the cartilage in joints lubricated so bones don't rub up against each other. By eating foods rich in vitamin C and E and calcium, you'll help build a musculoskeletal system that can outlast degenerative conditions.