Don’t ignore that jerk

Osteoarthritis is beginning to plague the younger generation today, but doctors share that it is easily preventable and controlled.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

HYDERABAD: Are you even a working professional if you haven’t complained of back, neck or joint pains? In a worrying trend, Osteoarthritis, which was earlier prevalent among the elderly, has now become common among the 25-40 demographic. We speak to doctors in the city who share causes, reasons and caution.

Dr Veerendra Mudnoor, orthopaedic surgeon at Apollo Spectra Hyderabad-Kondapur, says osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. “It strikes when the cartilage at the joint that cushions the bones from both ends, begins to wear down. With the deterioration of the cartilage, the bone begins to rub against the other end. This occurrence causes pain, stiffness, and difficulty in movement,” he explains.

Patients of the condition are commonly found complaining about the pain in joints of the hands, knees, spine, and hip. The doctor adds that according to the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, osteoarthritis can be attributed to vitamin D deficiency. Several factors influence the development of this form of arthritis, such as gender, genetics, and obesity, he informs.

The most common causes of osteoarthritis include obesity leading to extra pressure on the weight-bearing joints, a sedentary lifestyle, poor body postures when sitting for long periods, regular heavy lifting, practising regular impact sports such as football or hockey, or a job that puts continued strain on the joints and bone injuries, the doctor shares, adding that it is was found that women face a greater risk of having the condition.

Being diagnosed with a chronic disease like arthritis at a young age can be confusing for the patient. “Early diagnosis can lead to complete control of symptoms and the disease should not stop you from living a normal life. With the right advice and lifestyle changes, there are no reasons for you not to have a fulfilling life,” says Dr G Manoj Kumar, consultant orthopaedic & robotic joint replacement surgeon at Care Hospitals, Banjara Hills. “Stay active, regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments for arthritis as it helps strengthen the muscles around the affected joints, improves mobility, and reduces fatigue and pain. Next, eat a healthy diet: lots of vegetables, they are great for your bones.

Add dairy products, nuts, seeds, and fish too. Do not skip exercising — keep your weight in check to avoid getting extra stress from excess weight. Consult your doctor at the earliest and avoid self-treatment,” he advises. Dr Sunil Dachepalli, senior consultant orthopaedic joint replacement & arthroscopic surgeon at Yashoda Hospitals, mentions lifestyle changes, activity modification, physical therapy prescribed exercise programs to identify physical impairments and weight control as some of the easiest medical ways to treat the disease.

The diagnosis of the condition is done through X-ray, MRI, blood test, and Joint fluid test. Treatment includes physiotherapy, quadriceps exercises, cartilage protective supplements, knee injections and arthroscopy (key hole) surgery, Dr K Saketh, orthopaedic and arthroscopic surgeon, Gleneagles Global Hospital, Lakdikapul, tells CE.

Tips for patients
 Watch your weight
 Avoid squatting, sitting cross-legged
 Avoid taking the stairs
 Prefer swimming and cycling
 Take foods rich in vitamin D and calcium

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