In the modern age Information is a weapon!
While Correct Information with Precise knowledge is Weapon loaded. Especially if it concerns an Individual’s HEALTH & extremely important disease like Arthritis.
We need this weapon & MAY is the month to acquire it. As far as Americans are concerned, is an Ultra developed civilization they have nurtured some good habits like declaring some months for social awareness to create a healthy society & healthy nation?
As a person grows old eventually age-related diseases are inevitable. But what makes a difference is, if an individual is aware of what’s coming ahead it will make life Simpler & less ailing. Just by Knowing: it is the half war won.
Lets us be AWARE & KNOW about conditions which might hamper our ability to move pain-free. Especially if it affects our large joints like Knees & hips, nonetheless aged spine, ankle & shoulders are also troublesome occasionally. This is ARTHRITIS:
There will be hardly any human being who will not undergo arthritis in one’s old age. Let’s go through some of the important aspects of Loss of Function of joints due to arthritis: Gradual decrease in one’s Ability to walk prolonged distances.
Like some people at a given point of time will always worry & say nowadays my ability to walk is not remarkable, initially I walked 5 km in the park now it’s just 2 km. This can be due to damage occurring in the cartilage which acts as a cushion in any joint: In most cases, this is due to the aging process leading to wear and tear of overall joint: if a person is aware and consults orthopedics /it could be an early osteoarthritis a form of joint disease or Arthritis of Knees or hips.
If your physician diagnoses you with age-related Osteoarthritis he will grade your disease and this may slow the further progression of the disease. Obviously it holds true if one Follows the doctors’ advice & acts accordingly. More or less some knee Patients need the second consultancy to assess if the desired improvement has occurred or things are deteriorating.
NOT ALL ARTHRITIS ARE SEEN IN OLD AGE/rarely Arthritis in young are also detected, even though they are presented late due to high tolerance But Arthritis of the hip is observed in young individuals & mostly due to an entity known as avascular necrosis of joints. ( https://myarogya.in/general/young-indians-and-arthritis-of-hip-a-cause-for-concern/)
PAIN in Arthritis is usually dull aching but Persistent pain in multiple joints can be observed in
Rheumatoid arthritis. Thus it’s important to understand various causes and different types of presentations. As discussed earlier osteoarthritis is most commonly due to the aging process but it can be due to Infections of joints old or recent, maybe injury or fractures both new or old healed, any previous Joint related Surgeries in earlier decades can lead to arthritis. Metabolic causes due to some dietary deficiencies or their excesses can also cause arthritis. Some people get Gout or arthritis of overwhelming protein intake which could secondarily Loading of kidneys. Similarly self-medication with available analgesics or some old prescriptions being habitually procured by patients has caused more harm to an individual’s vital organs like kidneys /heart or ulcers in stomachs.
ACTUALLY ONE NEEDS A PROPER CONSULTATION FOR IDENTIFICATION OF PRECISE CAUSE TO AN PARTICULAR DIAGNOSIS:
Probably health is one area where decisions taken on grounds of assumptions have to cause more harm than benefit. As most often patients having earlier benefits with some makeshift temporary treatments have Suffered more than the ones who were intelligent enough to seek proper timely professional advice. Some of important Warning signs in Arthritis are: These could be seen all together or just one is enough to seek Ortho or Physicians consultation-
At rest or while during activity/pain can be constant or irregular/it can be during any particular Movement/ pain can be in all or different joints or just confined to a single joint.
Early morning stiffness of small joints of wrists or fingers in hands or feet & ankle especially which Lasting for half to one hour can be an important sign of Rheumatoid or Inflammatory arthritis. Rarely some joint stiffness may last more than an hour & gradually subside with activities.
Swelling could be of persistent in nature or vanish with some movements/this can be seen in single joint or multiple joints. But if it remains more than 48 or 72 hours or persists then it needs medical attention.
Moving a joint could be difficult & sticking or locking could be seen while trying to move any particular large joint, mostly it is seen in knee arthritis. Instability or feeling of losing balance while walking is an important sign which could need urgent attention from your doctor. Basically one needs to ask If ones Walking ability has been reduced in recent months.
In short a simple X-ray or a simple blood test with appropriate clinical correlation may detect ARTHRITIS. Hence, the Mantra for this Awareness month is: TOGETHER WE CAN CURE ARTHRITIS!!
Dr Sarang Shete.
MD (PHYSICIAN) DNB (ORTHOPAEDICS) MNAMS. INCHARGE of Joint Replacement and Arthroscopy unit B at KLE’S DR Prabhakar Kore Hospital and Medical Research Centre
Faculty at Department of Orthopedics Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Belagavi. PhD Research scholar in Hip Arthroplasty at KAHER Nehrunagar. Belagavi.