We at Medicircle are constantly working on bringing to our audience all the trending health-related topics. It is our primary objective to Bring to your attention news and views you need to be aware of to lead a healthy disease-free life. To help us in this regard we’d be joined by eminent and expert top doctors from across the country. Today in Doctor’s Speak we are going to talk about the problem of Arthritis and ways to help you deal with it.
Dr. Sonu Singh is one of the best Physiatrists in Jaipur. He has done MBBS, MD - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation post-graduate program in Rheumatology, sports injury rehabilitation, posture, and human biomechanics. He has more than 12 years of experience as a Physiatrist and also has served in the Armed Forces for 9 years. He also specializes in joint pain management, sports injury, posture management, and, General Physician. He is a member of the Indian Association of Cerebral Palsy, IAPMR, IAPM, the Indian Association of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Indian association of palliative medicine.
What is Arthritis?
Dr. Sonu explains, “Arthritis is no longer an elderly disease. It is very prevalent in the younger population these days. It is easily found in men and women of 30-35 years. And this is because of an unhealthy lifestyle. Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease. Cartilage is a connective tissue that can be found in joints, between bones, rib cage, etc. Cartilage serves as a support structure for proper locomotion. Damage to this cartilage layer in arthritis makes it difficult to move around.”
Arthritis in younger age groups
Dr. Sonu says, “As the age advances, the lubrication of this layer gets thinner and wears off. This results in decreased range of motions, bone to bone contact, and pain. This is why it was once called an elderly disease. But now due to the lifestyle change (we are mostly sitting on hard surfaces, wearing tight clothes) and following a sedentary lifestyle, arthritis is very common in younger age groups too.”
Modern lifestyle - Major cause of arthritis
Dr. Sonu adds, “Earlier we used to walk on soft surfaces and now surfaces are getting harder and tougher. Due to this, our shock-absorbing capacity is getting low day by day. We hardly walk barefoot now. We are always in sleepers. With our modern lifestyle, we are losing our shock-absorbing capacity.”
Does arthritis pain migrate?
Dr. Sonu describes, "Pain is a kind of sensation that tells that something is not correct. At first, the body tries to combat that pain but when it fails, then we start experiencing it. To fight pain, the body releases steroids called glucocorticoids. Now, these glucocorticoids cause other health issues like osteoporosis, osteopenia, and lipid profile abnormalities, metabolic disorders. Our body involuntarily tries to stop the movement and we perceive it as pain.”
Dr. Sonu mentions, “Every individual has their walking pattern. Pain in joints gets transmitted from one bone to the other. Longstanding untreated joint pain may result in further spread of pain. And because of shock absorption, it puts pressure on the joints that provoke and damage them."
Is the condition reversible?
Dr. Sonu concludes, “Damage to the articular cartilage is not reversible. But we can certainly improve the movement pattern. Muscle integrity is very significant for the timely control of these diseases. Till grade 3 of arthritis where joint space is maintained, we can rectify it by shoe modification and muscle relief. This is a time-consuming process. We can improve the condition but can't reverse it. In some cases, with pain control, biomechanical correction, and shoe modification, we have achieved joint opening. We can’t avoid musculature, physical activity but we must be aware of our problems to rectify them.”
(Edited by Renu Gupta)