Joint Effort: Striking ‘Bone’ Homie with Arthritis

by VR Sreeraman on  October 30, 2006 at 10:53 AM Health In Focus
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Arthritis can make life one hell of a 'pain', none but the patients themselves can best associate with this statement. Pinning arthritis to a single condition is a challenge, since the disease is too complex to be sized-up, showing up as several complex conditions that cut through barriers of age, or stage of life.
Joint Effort: Striking ‘Bone’ Homie with Arthritis
Joint Effort: Striking ‘Bone’ Homie with Arthritis

In India, osteoarthritis, or age-related arthritis of knee joints, is the most common form of arthritis afflicting many senior citizens. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention has enabled 'painful' statistics which show that more than 20 percent of US adults are unable to put their best foot forward due to arthritis. A third of these people suffer restricted physical activity due to ineffective management of the disease.

Many academic endeavors have lent valuable insight into the reasons why approximately 20-30% of the visits to any hospital or health clinic are due to difficulties in the musculo-skeletal system. Not surprising, that musculo-skeletal disease figures as one of the most common diseases in the world. Further, 70% of these conditions are due to trauma, injuries, sprains, and mis-use of the musculo-skeletal system, including sudden physical exertion or a bad posture.

Arthritis is one word for 'inflammation of the joints'. There are almost 200 types of arthritis and rheumatic disease with the general symptoms hovering around pain, swelling and stiffness, accompanied by limitation in the movement of joints. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is caused by inflammation of the joint lining in free moving joints, technically called the synovial joints. This can afflict any joint, but peripheral joints, such as the hands, fingers and toes are more susceptible. RA is known to cause impairment in the functional ability, and can even cause irreversible damage to joints.

Excruciating pain is the curse of the severely arthritic, indeed pain management strategies is need of the hour, to improve the quality of life of those suffering this disease. A survey has revealed that many people suffering arthritis are not indulging in the requisite amount of exercise, mainly because of the fear of damage to the joints or escalation in pain. Some of them are in the dark about the type of exercise. Yet, exercise is perhaps the only method to improve joint mobility, strengthen muscles and bones, while enabling a better quality of life for the patient.

Lastly arthritics should seek the assistance of the vast number of support services available and indulge in healthy exchange of ideas and pain management strategies, which will provide the much needed succor to live a good life, notwithstanding the pain and discomfort of Arthritis.

Source: Medindia

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