Do you find climbing up stairs is a tough task? An unexpected stiffness or pain the joints after sitting for a longer period of time? If you are experiencing all these symptoms, then don’t ignore it. There might be a possibility that you could have Arthritis. It is just a notion, that it only affects older people. In India, over 180 million people are suffering from arthritis, among which some are below the age of 25 years. With the change in the lifestyle, lack of regular exercise, unhealthy diet and hectic work schedule, are all leading to rise of this disease in women these days.
12th October is celebrated as World Arthritis Day all across the globe to make people more aware about the disease and its preventive measures. Every year the day is followed by a specific theme and this year the theme for the day is ‘It's in your hands, take action.’
What it is about?
Commonly arthritis occurs in the small joints of the hand, or the vertebral column and the knees. Arthritis is broadly divided into 2 categories: Osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. Osteoarthritis is increasing as the cases of obesity disorder are increasing. In the early onset of arthritis, genes play a very important role.
Osteoarthritis: due to wear and tear of the muscles with the growing age osteoarthritis develops.
Inflammatory arthritis: in this, the dull aching pain evolves from the knees which further gets worsens when a person tries to climb up the stairs, or stand up from the sitting position or during sitting postures also. There are times when the pain gets worsens, which makes even walking on the level ground difficult.
It has been observed that in arthritis cases, 20:1 is the ratio in female patients versus male patients. Women who are under the age bracket of 20-40 are more prone to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis which affects multiple joints, whereas older women suffer from knee Osteoarthritis because to wear and tear of the knee joint muscles.
Affects youngsters too:
The cases of arthritis are increasing in youngsters and children also. Arthritis in children under the age of 16 years is known as juvenile arthritis. The exact cause in the increase of the disease is still not known and nearly about 20,000 cases a year in children are diagnosed lately.
- Immense pain in the joints
- Sudden stiffness of the joints
- Pain and difficulty while climbing up the stairs
- Difficulty in maintaining the balance
- Swelling of the joints
- Minute noises observed in the joints
- Problem in getting up after sitting in one place for a longer period of time
- Bending or bowing of the knees
For investigation of the disease various medical/clinical examinations are done for the swelling, tenderness, deformity like bowed legs or knocked knees painful or pain-free movements in the legs, loose or tight sounds in the joints. After these clinical examinations the patient is sent for the secondary examinations like X-ray or MRI. If the patient is suspected with rheumatoid, he/he can be sent for the blood test for the clear test result.
Methods of preventions:
Change in the lifestyle such as quitting smoking, opting for healthy diet, getting higher antioxidant content through green leafy vegetables, high protein diet, and adequate amount of vitamin D and calcium foods.
Other methods are also there such as:
- Strengthening of legs exercise
- Keeping body weight in check
- Cartilage restoring medication, corrective surgery including tibial osteotomy, arthroscopies and knee replacements for crippled patients
- Cementing cavities, root canal treatment, capping of teeth and artificial teeth implants
- Avoiding movements seen in positions such as sitting cross-legged or using the Indian commode.