Many people experience osteoarthritis problem due to the loss of bones with age but nowadays, due to poor lifestyle, many young people are suffering from osteoarthritis at a young age. Health experts reveal that sedentary lifestyle is the main reason behind this and doctors assert that since some companies are still asking employees to work from home after Covid-19 lockdown, the problem of osteoarthritis is increasing rapidly.
From this, osteoarthritis is no longer limited to the elderly but young people are also becoming victims of this problem. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Ashish Arbat, Orthopedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon at Jahangir Multispeciality Hospital in Pune, said, “Osteoarthritis usually starts to be felt after fifty. Deficiency of vitamins in the body, brittleness of bones, indirectly starts to fail the joints. Regular exercise, weight and proper health care can reduce stress on the joints and keep the joints and muscles strong. Rheumatoid arthritis at this age involves joints in the body such as knees, waist, neck and shoulders. However, this problem of growing age is seen in many young people recently. Osteoarthritis is now being diagnosed in many people between the ages of 35-45. Earlier this problem was mainly seen in people aged 55 to 60 years.”
Dr Arbat added, “Sedentary lifestyle, obesity and prolonged sitting are affecting the health of our bones and joints. Excess weight or insufficient physical activity along with an unhealthy diet can lead to bone loss. After that, the problem of osteoarthritis starts to appear. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, it mainly affects the hands, knees, hips and spine. An increase in the incidence of osteoarthritis in young individuals during the pandemic may be attributed to work-from-home regulations. Prolonged sitting in front of screens, lack of physical activity, weight gain, poor eating habits and limited exposure to sunlight are the primary factors that lead to osteoarthritis.”
Dr Shardul Soman, Orthopedic and Spine Surgeon at Apollo Spectra in Pune, revealed, “Spine problem is increasing in youth due to sedentary lifestyle. More than half of adults under the age of 30 are affected. Earlier, these complaints were seen at a younger age but now, the problem of arthritis in the spine is increasing due to poor lifestyle, riding a scooter, lack of regular exercise and limitation in physical activity. Every month approximately 30-35 patients come for treatment with complaints of back pain. After medical examination, he was diagnosed with osteoarthritis.”
He shared, “Factors that contribute to osteoarthritis in young people include lack of physical activity, prolonged sitting, heavy lifting, sedentary office work, being overweight or obese, excessive running or participating in high-impact sports, joint injuries, birth defects such as hip dysplasia or uneven. Leg length, hormonal imbalances affecting growth, family history of diabetes and osteoarthritis should be addressed immediately. It is important to pay attention to signs and symptoms such as joint pain, discomfort, swelling, redness around the joint and movement problems because bone inflammation, bone or joint infection, joint wear and tear, cancer, rickets, vitamin D deficiency can cause joint pain. The incidence of joint pain in young people is increasing day by day and it is more common in women than men. Problems such as vitamin B12 and calcium deficiency can lead to joint pain if left untreated.”
Dr Arabat concluded with the advice, “In order to avoid osteoarthritis problems in youth, one should avoid eating low calorie food, junk food, processed and canned food. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, exercise daily, and use any supplements only on the advice of your doctor. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper nutrition is important to avoid putting too much stress on the joints.”