World Arthritis Day 2022: Doctor debunks myths about arthritis in India | Health - Hindustan Times
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World Arthritis Day 2022: Doctor debunks myths about arthritis in India

Oct 12, 2022 07:05 PM IST

World Arthritis Day 2022: Every year, approximately 14% of Indians seek medical attention for this joint condition. Despite how widespread this ailment is, here are a number of myths that make it difficult for people to get relief from their symptoms and facts by doctor

World Arthritis Day is celebrated ever year on October 12 and this year’s theme is “It’s in your hands take action”. Awareness is the key to treat any disease be it cancer, heart ailments or arthritis and we are all aware that arthritis can affect one or more joints, causing pain, swelling and inflammation as it is an all-encompassing term used to describe a variety of diseases rather than a specific sickness and is one of the most worldwide health issues in the country.

World Arthritis Day 2022: Doctor debunks myths about arthritis in India(Twitter/abhinay30434610)
World Arthritis Day 2022: Doctor debunks myths about arthritis in India(Twitter/abhinay30434610)

There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, although osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis are the most prevalent (RA) but in contrast to RA, which primarily affects the immune system and can damage joints as well as muscles, connective tissue, tendons and fibrous tissue, OA is the wear and tear of the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones. It can harm any joint, including the hands, hips, knees and spine.

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According to an examination of arthritis tests performed in SRL Diagnostics' laboratories, there are more than 180 million cases of arthritis in India, making it more common than many other well-known diseases including diabetes, AIDS and cancer. Every year, approximately 14% of Indians seek medical attention for this joint condition.

Despite how widespread this ailment is, there are still a number of myths that make it difficult for people to get relief from their symptoms and an improvement in their quality of life. Dr Biren Nadkarni, Senior Orthopedic Consultant and Joint Replacement Surgeon from Sitaram Bhartia Institute and Holy Family Hospital in New Delhi, dispelled some widespread misconceptions about arthritis in India:

1. Arthritis is an old-age disease and cannot affect children

Fact: Although there are numerous varieties of arthritis that can afflict both children and young adults, the condition is more prevalent in older people. The most frequent kind of arthritis in children, juvenile arthritis (also known as childhood arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), can permanently harm joints.

2. All joint pains are arthritis

Fact: A number of illnesses, including tendonitis, bursitis, and other soft-tissue injuries, can cause joint pain and have a pain profile resembling that of arthritis. Therefore, it is crucial to obtain a precise medical diagnosis before treating any kind of joint discomfort.

3. When you start experiencing joint pain, you should wait to see if it goes away on its own.

Fact: Absolutely false. Early detection and treatment of arthritis can not only save your joints but also protect your important organs from harm. Some types, like rheumatoid arthritis, can harm the heart, blood vessels, brain, skin, eyes, lungs, and skin. It is important to identify the type of arthritis you have as soon as possible since many treatments are available, and starting the right course of treatment can help you avoid suffering long-term effects.

4. Exercising will worsen your condition

Fact: Exercise helps lessen discomfort and swelling while boosting strength, range of motion, and flexibility. Inactivity can make the symptoms worse, causing the pain and swelling to worsen. Before you enrol yourself in any exercise program, it is also important to know what your limits are and what level of exercise you can benefit from.

5. Heating pads relieves sore joints

Fact: Joint pain can be relieved by ice as well as heat. Heat can ease pain and stiffness in joints and muscles when applied properly. The cold application might help to reduce soreness and joint inflammation. When a joint is stiff or hurting, people should apply heat before exercising. Additionally, cold can reduce pain and may be helpful if a joint is irritated, especially if there is swelling post - exercise.

6. Hand and feet will remain deformed

Fact: Deformities may result from untreated and undiagnosed arthritis. However, this can be avoided with early detection and treatment. Most patients with arthritis lead functional and productive lives.

Insisting that despite advancements in medicine, there is still much to learn about arthritis, Dr Biren Nadkarni suggested, “Simple precautions should be taken in order to stop the disease process from developing and affecting our life. Arthritis is accompanied by a number of controllable and non-modifiable risk factors. We should be aware that by maintaining a lifestyle that includes exercise and a nutritious, balanced diet, we may lower the risk of some types of arthritis and halt their progression, in keeping with this year's theme, it’s in your hands, take action. Better treatments will undoubtedly develop as scientists continue to study these disorders.”

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