Arthritis is defined as an “inflammation of the joints.” It can occur in one joint or multiple joints. This condition is triggered by the degeneration of connective tissues or cartilage, which are the shock absorber for the joints.
According to one report, knee arthritis can be the fourth most common cause of physical disability in India. Nearly 180 million people in India have arthritis and its prevalence is higher than diabetes, AIDS, and cancer.
The nation is on the cusp of the arthritis epidemic, and the ever-increasing cases in India are said to be much higher compared to Western nations. Thanks to the genetic tendency of Indians towards knee arthritis and a lifestyle that leads to the overuse of the knee joints.
Top of that, it will be challenging for our country to deal with this massive healthcare burden due to the shortage of healthcare facilities and orthopaedic specialists.
Arthritis in Indian Women
In Indian women, the average age for the onset of knee issues is 50 years. Many studies have confirmed that arthritis is more prevalent in Indian women than men.
Arthritis is likely to affect different joints in women than men. The hips joints of men are more prone to arthritis while women get it in their knees and hands.
As far as women are concerned, there are two major factors which cause arthritis and are beyond your control.
You need to know that the rate of osteoarthritis boosts significantly after menopause in women. Experts believe that it is the female hormone estrogen which causes arthritis. Arthritis might be triggered by the lack of testosterone in women. This is because testosterone is useful for muscle building, and men have stronger leg muscles than women. Strong muscles are important for the knee joint, reducing the risk of osteoarthritis.
It is the way your body is structured that leads to risk for arthritis. Usually, women with wider hips are believed to have a significant effect on the alignment of their knees. This further leads to uneven stress on them, leading to osteoarthritis. Along with this, women also tend to have more flexible joints and hyper-mobility. These two factors add their contribution to the risk of arthritis.
Besides, there are several other factors which cause this joint problem. However, the good thing is that women can take some serious action to manage it. But before you learn how to prevent arthritis, it is essential to know about the other major causes. Isn’t it?
What are the common causes of arthritis?
Do you know overweight people have a greater tendency to develop knee osteoarthritis? Your body weight is carried by your leg joints and knees. So, the heavier you are, the more pressure is exerted on your knees and joints. Hence, being overweight turns out to be another common cause of arthritis.
Certainly, arthritis can affect middle (and younger), aged people. However, it is still more common among older people. You will find a number of them at a nearby senior care home who are developing joint problems. The reason is quite simple; joints wear and tear with the growing age and thus it is one of the most common causes of arthritis.
If your job calls for heavy lifting or repetitive joint movement and bending, you are at the risk of getting bone injuries or joint problem. And this could develop into arthritis over time. Plus, unhealthy eating habits add to the risk.
So, there are chances that you might face debilitating symptoms of arthritis-like long-lasting pain, swelling, inflammation, and stiffness of joints. The level of pain experienced might vary from person to person, depending on the causes and health condition. However, there is a lot you could do to prevent it from happening early. Before seeking treatment it is best to learn how to fight back arthritis.
WHEN TO LOOK FOR ARTHRITIS TREATMENT
Arthritis doesn’t have to impact your active life. If you are having debilitating symptoms or persistent pain, make sure to visit an orthopaedic. Your orthopaedic can suggest you the right treatment plan.
Signs that You should see an Orthopaedic Doctor
- Pain, swelling, stiffness or discomfort in the joints.
- Experiencing chronic pain for more than 12 weeks.
- Affected range of motion.
- Feeling unstable while standing or walking
- Soft tissue injury is not healing even after 48 hours.
- Having pain in the hip or knee that is worse while carrying the weight.
How women can prevent arthritis?
If your target is arthritis prevention, start with these important steps:
Control your body weight:
As stated earlier, it is the excess body weight which is best-known and most important risk factors for arthritis. So, start with it right away. Losing extra weight is something you can do to make a difference in arthritis pain. With the pounds dropping gradually you will be reducing stress on your joints, by simply decreasing their workload.
For this, you can change up your diet:
- Try adding more fiber each day.
- Eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Cut down on refined carbohydrates and fat.
With these small changes, you can easily maintain your weight and prevent arthritis pain.
Keep your body hydrated:
Here’s another reason to drink more water. Why? Do you know the cartilage in your joints is made up mostly of water? Hence, when your body is dehydrated, i.e. water gets sucked out of the cartilage, it becomes more easily damaged by wear and tear. So, you need to keep your cartilage healthy by drinking water throughout the day. Make sure you have at least 8 glasses of water daily.
Avoid high heels:
Your foot was not designed to be on its toes all day long. For you people, high heels can cause trouble. No doubt, it’s fine to wear them occasionally. However, if you have been using them all the time, stop it right away. It will cause a lot of problems. So, switch to a more joint-friendly accessory, your body will thank you.
Choose non-impact exercises:
Exercising is good for your health. But there are some activities which might predispose you to osteoarthritis and arthritis pain. Yes, this basically includes high impact exercise such as soccer and long-distance running. These add up a lot of stress on the joints. So, if you are doing any such activity, it can wear down the cartilage faster than normal.
Hence, it is recommended to switch to something lighter like water exercises, which will help you stay active and practice arthritis prevention.
Boost of vitamin D:
Did you know 90% of Indian women have vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D is important in regulating bone metabolism. Women with inadequate levels of vitamin D have a greater progression of osteoarthritis. The exact mechanism is not known, however, it’s advised to keep a check on your vitamin D levels to prevent arthritis prevention. You can take vitamin D supplements if required.
In conclusion, it is all about the small changes to your routine and a little care which will help you keeping
arthritis pain under control.
Remember, the steps you take today to stay healthier will keep you happier in the later years of life!