- Fish and eggs are foods rich in arthritis
- Range of motion exercises can also be helpful
- Hot and cold therapy can reduce pressure on joints
World Arthritis Day 2020: October 12 is observed as World Arthritis Day. This day is meant to raise awareness about arthritis, which is a debilitating disease marked by inflammation of joints and thereby causing severe misery to patient in terms of pain, limited mobility, loss of productivity in livelihood and restriction of activities of daily living. Two most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. But the effects of these disease can be minimised with simple ways, which leads to judicious use of diet, exercise, physical therapy and medical or surgical help.
World Arthritis Day: Diet, exercise and lifestyle tips for people with arthritis
A healthy balanced diet is necessary for all age groups, more so in arthritis patients. This also helps in maintaining healthy weight apart from keeping joints supple and healthy. A healthy arthritic meal should consist of portions from food groups such as fruits and vegetables, starch rich food (Potatoes, bread, rice), Fish and eggs, Milk and dairy foods.
Arthritis can cripple a patient unless joints are kept supple by exercises. Exercise also increases the strength of muscles thereby taking of weight from the joints. It improves joint mobility, and reduce stiffness. Simple range of motion exercises, Isotonic and isometric exercises and weight training can help in arthritis. in severe cases though, these exercises should be assisted and under supervision so as to not aggravate the conditions.
Posture and care of joints
Simple maneuvers such as not gripping objects too firmly, spreading the carrying load over several joints, using large joints as levers for protecting small joints, correct posture during walking, running, using proper footwear and assisted splint-age during high intensity sports are of immense benefit. The simple dictum is to keep moving your joints, even while working, or siting or watching television.
Modifications at home and work
If you have large joint arthritis you can use several handy modifications at home, such as use of hand rail at stairs, and/or in washers, using long levered objects for cleaning, using large taps, use of specialised kitchen equipment, and keeping things in such a way that they are in easy reach. try not to put extra stress on joints.
Simple modifications liking sitting while folding clothes and ironing, sliding forward to edge of chair before getting up, using pop corks on bottles than screw caps are effective in alleviating pain.
Using heat/ cold therapy or swimming/ hydro therapy is very useful for joint mobility and relieving pressure from joints. Also massage of the muscles with joint mobilisation are good ways to work them .
Medical/ Surgical options
In select cases certain medications are useful for treating arthritis, which includes diagnosing the type of arthritis and maintaining healthy status with either anti anti-inflammatory drugs, into articular injections, disease modifying drugs or/ and biological agents . Sometimes one or more modalities are to be used. in advanced cases Joint Replacement or Arthroplasty is an efficient method to bring back the stability and mobility back in the joints. Under proper Medical Supervision this is the surest way to treat long destroyed joints
These small but useful tips and understanding of disease can go a long way in bringing back the independence and thus self-esteem back to the patients who do not feel trapped in this crippling disease anymore.
(Dr Vivek Phanswal, Head of Department – Orthopedics, Trauma and Joint Replacement, Nayati Medicity, Mathura)
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