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Tiems of India
12 October 2011
By , Hetal Vyas £ tnn
Bangalore , India

Arthritis Strikes At Early Age Too
World Arthritis day
 Exercise is Essential
Arthritis or pain in joints has always been considered a diseasethathits post–40.Naturally itwas a shock for Ganesh Shetty (name changed), a 28–year–old techie, when hewastoldthathewassuffering from Avascular Necrosis (arthritis in hip bone) about a year ago. Subsequently, he underwent a hip replacement.

 Exercise is Essential
Doctors say that one in six people andonein threefamilies are affected by arthritis in India. “Generally people ignore the pain in their joints thinking that the pain is due to the age factor. About 30 years ago, people would pop a painkiller which would provide temporary relief. But now, there is awareness,’’ said Dr R Murlidhar, rheumetologist.

World Arthritis Day is observed on Wednesday with the theme ‘Move toImprove’. “Being physically active is especially important for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) — even doing a small amount of extra activity around the home can help,’’ said Dr Ramesh Jois, rheumetologist, Fortis Hospital.

Dr B Chandramauli, consultant orthopaedist, Apollo Hospital, said: “Itis not necessary for every patient suffering from arthritis to undergosurgery.Only 20%to40%cases require operation, rest can be cured by medicines, exercise and physiotherapy.” There are about 200 types of arthritis, of which osteoarthritis and rhumetoid arthritis are most common. While osteoarthritis is related to wear and tear of joints, rheumatoid is related to bigger joints.

Dr Shankar Kurpad, consultant orthopedic surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital, said: “Even a 75–year–old person wants to be fit and wants to work today. People don’t hesitate to undergo joint replacement, which was not seen about 10 years back,” said Dr Kurpad.

Why Does it Occur?
“Osteoarthritis happens generally due to obesity. Primary type of osteoarthritis occurs due to wear and tear of joints, whereas the secondary type is either due to increasing age or previous accidents. Secondary type is more significant in Bangalore due to frequent number of accidents, which results in fractures of the thighbone, ankle, knee or shoulder,” said Dr Thomas Chandy, director and chief of orthopaedics, Hosmat Hospital.

“The reason for more cases of arthritis being noticed today is due to increased awareness, lack of exercise, obesity and weak bones. A 5–year–old or a 75–year–old can get it. It is important to do some kind of exercise daily,” said Dr G Mallinath, orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeon, BGS Global Hospital.

Traditional ways to treat it
Treating arthritis through integrated medicines is getting popular. “Ayurvedic treatments mainly aim at repair and strengthening the joint, delay the progression of the disease and improve the muscle strength to rid the inflammatory changes if any,’’ said Dr Issac Mathai, chairman, Soukya International Holistic Centre.

Doctors say diet plays a huge role in weakening the bones. Nutritional evaluation is done and dietary advice is made to strengthen and improve the immunity.

Dr G G Gangadhar, chief physician, Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, said: “If a patient comes during early stages, ayurveda can prevent further deterioration. The medicines are given depending on body type and digestivecapacity of the patient.Rheumatoid arthritis can be corrected in 2–3 months while osteoarthritis takes about a month.”

The Prescription
It is recommended that adults, including those with arthritis, engage in 150 minutes or more per week of at least moderateintensity aerobic physical activity and do muscle–strengthening exercises at least two days per week. Adults with arthritis who cannot meet these recommendations are encouraged to do what physical activity they can, because some is better than none. There are specially designed exercise regimens for patients with arthritis.

How yoga helps
Asanas and techniques to get rid of the stiffness and improve the mobility are taught. Breathing and meditation ensure better oxygenation and calm the mind. Special Pranayama like kapalabhati, nadishodhana and Bhramari are taught to help strengthen the system.