Active lifestyle key to better management of arthritis

12-10-2021 Tue 12:41 IST | IANS | Health

Hyderabad, Oct 12 : People suffering from arthritis should maintain an active lifestyle as physical exercise reduces inflammation by reducing fat and increasing the production and release of anti-inflammatory molecules, say doctors on World Arthritis Day.

Each year, October 12 is commemorated as World Arthritis Day, and this year, doctors recommend people to take a pledge to enhance awareness about arthritis, its related problems, to stay fit and active, and strive towards reducing the overall arthritis case burden in the country.

Arthritis is an autoimmune condition or a degenerative joint disorder, both causing inflammation in the joints, and these are chronic-cum debilitating problems. At present, there is no specified cure for this ailment, except to live with the problem, and manage it from time to time, using steroids. Arthritis can cause severe pain, reduces quality of life, and decrease people's ability to function.

Doctors warn that more Indians could become victims of arthritis-linked problems due to overweight and obesity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in India is increasing faster than the world average.

The prevalence of overweight increased from 8.4 per cent to 15.5 per cent among women between 1998 and 2020, and the prevalence of obesity increased from 2.2 per cent to 5.1 per cent over the same period. Men are not behind in this problem, and together they are adding to the rising burden of arthritis cases in the country.

"Overweight or obesity along with problems like diabetes, suffering from a traumatic injury to joints, congenital joint deformities, could lead to arthritis problems. While there is a slight difference in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, both cause severe damage to human functions. And people who are obese are likely to suffer more than lighter peers after they cross a certain age threshold," said Jagan Mohan Reddy, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, SLG Hospitals.

According to K. Saketh, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon (Sports Surgery & Regenerative Orthopedics), Gleneagles Global Hospital, severe pain in the joints deter arthritis patients from taking up any physical activity due to fear that it could worsen their condition.

"But it is important that individuals suffering from arthritis maintain an active lifestyle. Otherwise, a sedentary lifestyle will further debilitate their ability to do any physical act, and this could have a severe psychological bearing on the mind. Hence, it is important arthritis patients do not stay immobile and instead motivate themselves to walk or exercise regularly."

Satyanarayana V V, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital, pointed out that physical exercise reduces inflammation by reducing fat and increasing the production and release of anti-inflammatory molecules from human muscles.

"Given that inflammation is a primary cause of joint pain in arthritis, exercising will help improve symptoms and will play a crucial role in managing the problem," he said.

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