Hyderabad: Arthritis is a medical condition where individuals experience severe pain due to the inflammation of joints. The pain is usually highly localised and occurs around the joint and causes a lot of discomfort. Usually, the cartilage located in the middle of two bones in a joint, wears down, which is often referred to as ‘wear and tear’, causing severe pain.
Senior orthopaedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon, Yashoda Hospitals, Dr. Sunil Dachepalli talks to Telangana Today and busts some of the common myths and questions that surround arthritis
Can arthritic patients lead an active life?
Unlike the popular perception that people with arthritis should avoid leading an active life, on the contrary such individuals must make sure to lead an active life, which helps in managing their medical condition. Exercise helps in maintaining the much-needed strength in the joints. Under the guidance of a qualified doctor, such patients can lead an active lifestyle
What and who can exercise?
For arthritic patients, walking is an efficient exercise to prevent the disease from progressing. A daily dose of walking will not only help in keeping the body weight under control but will also relieve the pain, stiffness, swelling and even strengthens joints.
How much should such patients walk?
Such persons should not exert a lot of pressure but walk as much as they can. Here, the important thing is not to put too much pressure and do exercises too quickly, which will cause injuries. Patients should walk only depending on their abilities. I would advise them to start slowly and increase the volume gradually to at least five times a week.
What kind of exercise should arthritis take-up and what to avoid?
Low impact exercises that bear less stress on weight-bearing joints in hips, knees and feet, like walking, cycling and even swimming should be pursued. All the high impact sports like jogging, sprinting, running; hard weight training especially related to legs and even skipping that exerts a lot of pressure on joints must be avoided.
Can arthritic patients take pain killers?
For management of pain, arthritic patients can depend on simple formulations like ointments, balm, gels and hot fomentations to ease the pain. There will come a time when such solutions may not work for some individuals. Under such circumstances, I would recommend paracetamol and tramadol tablets, which are relatively safe. Once in a while, they can take pain killers but not regularly. Patients need to consult with a qualified doctor on taking pain meds.
What is the disease burden of arthritis in India?
In India, every year about 10 million cases of arthritis are detected and among the general population, about 20 percent have arthritis. So, if the majority of patients or individuals inculcate the habit of walking, or simple exercises, they can postpone their surgery or don’t need it immediately. Leading an active lifestyle is vital for arthritic patients but patients should also realise that they need to pursue exercises within limits.