Most of us are familiar with the term osteoarthritis, and many of us live with it. Listed as the most common type of arthritis or degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis affects more than 527.81 million people across the globe. If we speak of India alone, the condition affects 22 to 39 per cent of the population. Osteoarthritis is characterised by chronic joint pain and stiffness, which can be managed with medication and therapy. Apart from these, a few tips might come in handy. We have discussed some of these in this blog with the help of experts specialising in knee replacement in Gurugram.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease marked by the gradual wearing out of the cartilage, a connective tissue that protects the bones and joints by absorbing any shock or trauma and preventing unnecessary friction. As the cartilage withers away, the bones are left exposed and unprotected. This not only results in severe pain and inflammation but can also prove to be debilitating to some extent. As per the experts specialising in orthopaedic surgery in Gurgaon, osteoarthritis is more likely to affect women than men and is predominantly seen in females who have hit menopause. This could be due to the drastic decrease in the estrogen levels in their bodies after they stop ovulating.
How can osteoarthritis affect your life?
Osteoarthritis can make it difficult for you to indulge in normal day-to-day activities by giving rise to severe pain and inflammation. It can also lead to stiffness, limiting the range of motion and affecting your ability to use your limbs as before. Some patients also experience social isolation as they tend to avoid social gatherings due to pain. Many patients suffering from osteoarthritis have also shown symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Tips that can help
Several treatment modalities are available for helping patients with osteoarthritis; however, certain tips can add to the effectiveness of the treatment. Here are some of these:
● Keep moving and indulge in mild to moderate physical activities. You can also go for gentle weight training, yoga and aerobics. Exercising helps to strengthen the muscles that support the affected joint and also helps to reduce stiffness
● Keep your weight under check. The more you weigh, the more your bones and joints will be burdened. It is better to opt for a weight loss program and eliminate those extra kgs.
● Try ice for instant relief from pain and inflammation.
● While making your diet, prioritize using anti-inflammatory foods. These include nuts, green tea, olive oil, garlic, onions, dark leafy greens and fatty fish.
● Practice yoga to improve your joints' flexibility and enhance muscle strength. You can also try Tai Chi, which gives short-term relief from pain and related symptoms. This is also known as shadow-boxing and is predominantly practised in China.
● Don't compromise your sleep. Ensure your body gets all the rest it needs, which is extremely important for your recovery.
If you wish to know more about osteoarthritis management or explore various treatment options, consult the best orthopaedic doctor in Gurugram today.
Dr. Saurabh Chandra,
Consultant, Bone, Joint Replacement and Orthopedics