bones MaKe No aND joInts aBouT IT

Society - - SOCIETY SAYS SO -

Gone are the days when your age was the in­di­ca­tor for your health. When prob­lems with bones and joints started show­ing signs only af­ter a cer­tain age. But in the times we are liv­ing in now, age is no bar for bad bone health and weak joints. In fact, more and more young­sters are com­plain­ing of bone and joint is­sues, es­pe­cially young women. Why are these prob­lems sur­fac­ing so early among younger women and what can we do about it?

wHat prob­lems do oc­cur?

Younger women can be trou­bled with gen­er­alised body ache, stiff­ness in pe­riph­eral joints, knee pain, neck, mid and lower back is­sues. All these can be as­so­ci­ated with lack or loss of ap­petite, sleep is­sues, tin­gling numb­ness in arms or legs and/or lethargy. We see a lot of pa­tients in this age group, who are over­weight. Sci­en­tif­i­cally, bones grow­ing weaker are gener­i­cally termed os­teo­porotic and joints grow­ing older are termed arthritic. The ques­tion that begs to be an­swered is, why do bones and joints grow weak so early in life?

wHy do tHey oc­cur?

As or­tho­pe­dic sur­geons, our first im­pres­sion about this alarm­ing issue of bone and joint epi­demic is that so­ci­ety’s priorities are chang­ing. Work, money, fame and fun have gained prece­dence over health. Women are at a much higher risk than men as hor­monal fluc­tu­a­tions play a ma­jor role in these bone and joint is­sues. In ad­di­tion, some women are ge­net­i­cally prone to aches and pains. Rheuma­toid Arthri­tis, Sys­temic Lu­pus Ery­the­mato­sus, Fi­bromyal­gia may sound like sci­en­tific jar­gon, but are ac­tu­ally clin­i­cal syn­dromes. These syn­dromes en­com­pass bone and joint is­sues that are def­i­nitely proven to be more preva­lent in younger women.

wHat Is tHe treat­ment?

The golden rule to any treat­ment is early di­ag­no­sis. The spe­cific is­sues of bone and joint must be iden­ti­fied first. Each in­di­vid­ual is dif­fer­ent. So, 10 women may have 10 dif­fer­ent prob­lems. There lies the role of clin­i­cians—pri­mary physi­cians, or­tho­pe­dic sur­geons and rheuma­tol­o­gists. Be­sides bone build­ing and anti-in­flam­ma­tory medicines/sup­ple­ments, there is a def­i­nite role for ex­er­cise and phys­io­ther­apy. In fact, there is some re­search to sug­gest pranayama and yoga may heal stiff­ness and sim­i­lar con­di­tions. The key lies in life­style changes and tak­ing pre­cau­tions. Healthy mind, body and spirit are po­ten­tial goals that we should strive for.

dos

Focus on a nu­tri­tious diet. Keep a check on your weight. Visit a doc­tor if prob­lems are per­sis­tent.

don’ts

Skip your daily ex­er­cise rou­tine. Smoke. Self-med­i­cate with cal­cium and vi­ta­min D for any or every bone/joint issue. Dr Miten Sheth, Or­tho­pe­dic Knee Sur­geon, The Knee Clinic

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