A new study has found that more number of young people in India below the
age of 30 is suffering from spondylitis, a form of arthritis that affects the
Long working hours on the computer, a desk job and lack of
physical activities are a grim reality today, and so are increasing back
problems and spondylitis. Doctors say a sharp increase has been noted in the
number of young patients falling prey to spondylitis.
"Over the years the number of patients suffering from
arthritis, especially spondylitis, has been increasing," said doctor
S.K.S. Marya, an orthopaedic surgeon at Max
Hospital in south Delhi's Saket.
According to the orthopaedic department of Max Hospital,
at least 20 fresh cases of spondylitis are reported every week where patients
are below 30 years of age. If compared with the numbers a decade ago, the
increase is almost three-fold.
Spondylitis is a chronic inflammation of the spine and
joints in the lower back, causing stiffness and pain.
"A sedentary lifestyle leads to joint and muscle
deformities. Spondylitis has become very common among people as young as 25
years who sit in front of computer screens for a long duration. It has all
happened since the MNCs and call centres have come in," said Marya.
Doctor G.P. Dureja, director of Delhi Pain Management
Centre, said after osteoarthritis of the knee (that occurs in people older than
40 years), spondylitis is the most common form of arthritis among Indians.
"Lack of exercise, bad posture while working in office,
sitting with a bent back while watching TV and obesity - all are reasons for an
increasing number of spondylitis cases," Dureja told IANS.
Among Indians, osteoarthritis of the knee is the most
common. It is the degeneration of joints which occurs gradually in people older
than 40 years. Spondylitis is the next stage. These could happen to anyone who
doesn't have a healthy lifestyle, irrespective of his or her age.
"People in India do not have a culture of
exercise. Even on holidays they prefer sitting at home rather than going out
and enjoying the sun," said doctor Partap Chauhan, director, Jiva
The lack of nutrition is also a factor responsible for these
ailments. "Working people don't care about their diet. They take in junk
food which is rich only in carbohydrates. Their nutrition levels are low, which
make their body weak and less immune and thereby more vulnerable to
arthritis," said Chauhan.
Orthopaedics suggest that regular exercise with a healthy
but light diet were two simple ways of avoiding arthritis or at least delaying
"A regular brisk walk for 10 minutes, stretching
muscles once in a while at the work place, eating a calcium- and protein-rich
diet is all that one has to do to keep any form of arthritis at bay," said