bones MaKe No aND joInts aBouT IT
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.
Focus on a nutritious diet. Keep a check on your weight. Visit a doctor if problems are persistent.
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