Arthritis is progressively degenerative disorder which becomes increasingly painful if it strikes one at an early age. Because, once diagnosed, it cannot be eliminated. Characterised by degeneration of the cartilage and bone of the joints, arthritis usually strikes after the age of 65. However, the profile of patients affected by this disease is becoming much young. Faulty lifestyle, obesity, poor nutrition are some of the main reasons why this age old disease is increasingly seen in youngsters.
The recent findings, published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, indicate that the relationship between obesity and arthritis is more prominent. Studies have found that overweight and obese people, as indicated by their body mass index (BMI) report more doctor diagnosed arthritis than people with a lower BMIs, with 66% of arthritis sufferers being overweight or obese.
The most common joint affected in Indians is the knee followed by the hip.
Know the Warning Signs
If you have any of these signs in or around a joint for more than two weeks, see your doctor:
Difficulty moving a joint
Seek Early Diagnosis and Treatment
Early diagnosis and treatment are important to help slow or prevent damage to joints that can occur during the first few years after arthritis is diagnosed. The longer the disease persists, the more the joints are damaged; therefore it is vital to receive treatment as soon as a diagnosis is made.
Maintain Appropriate Weight
Maintaining an appropriate weight can reduce the risks for developing osteoarthritis in the knees, and possibly in the hips and hands.
Joint injuries caused by accidents, injuries, or overuse can increase the risk for osteoarthritis. Keeping the muscles around joints strong may reduce the risk of wear on that joint.
Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
Author: Dr Suraj Gurav, Consultant Joint Replacement and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Asian Orthopaedic Institute (A unit of Asian Heart Institute)