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Of late we have been trying to understand the underlying causes behind orthopedic issues afflicting a large percentage of Indian populace. In this regard we found of particular relevance an article published in The Business Standard on February 20,2017. The issues highlighted in that article hold good even three years down the line. In this blog for you we shall make an attempt to offer its summary.

The article states, “With rising life expectancy, increasingly sedentary lifestyles and surge in incidence of obesity, India is also witnessing a resultant rise in orthopedic problems as a natural corollary.Despite joint pain being highly debilitating, a large number of people continue to live with it and fail to seek timely medical help.” The above statement indicates a sort of chalta hai attitude that we, as Indians, are so accustomed to. So, what needs to be done?

1) We need to realize that preventive mechanisms need to adopted after visiting the doctor. Doctors provide comprehensive advice to visiting patients including prevention, management and surgical treatment.

2) The areas which are particularly vulnerable are knee, shoulder and hip. However, joint pain can affect any part of your body.

3) There can be several causes of joint pain including age-related osteoarthritis, auto-immune rheumatoid arthritis or injury to the ligaments, bursae (lining between the bone and soft tissue), or tendons surrounding the joint.

4) As Indians we are genetically more predisposed to orthopedic problems such as osteoarthritis. At the same time, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyles are making our bones softer and more prone to deformities causing awkward loading of joints. The other risks of developing osteoarthritis (wearing out of joints) include ageing, obesity, family history of osteoarthritis, misaligned bones & having any other type of arthritis."

5) Our lifestyle, especially ground sitting habits, and use of Indian toilet further exacerbate any existing knee pain. As of today there is no reliable way to regenerate the lining cartilage of the knee. Therefore, prevention strategies have to adequately underlined while also raising awareness about the availability of joint replacement as a viable option.

6) People who have appropriate body weight and those who are active with flexible joints and strong bones have the best chance of avoiding joint pains. The ageing process cannot be stopped but it can definitely be slowed. And the answer is by maintaining a good level of muscle strength so that they can match up with your activity level.

7) People with joint pain need to follow a strict daily routine to keep their condition under control and minimize pain and discomfort. This routine includes a religious devotion to daily exercise, use of physiotherapy and heat therapy to keep the joints mobile and check inflammation as well as using supporting devices such as knee braces and orthotic shoes to ensure comfort. At the same time, it is important to understand that unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking tend to have a further negative effect on arthritic conditions. Most important is to check weight gain as excessive body weight puts greater pressure on the knees and the feet and accelerates damage.

We hope you have found this week’s inputs to be useful. However, just knowing is not good enough unless we actually start adopting healthy lifestyle practices. Sooner the better.


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