180 million people in India live with some form of knee pain. What most people don’t know is- it is more prevalent than other conditions like diabetes, AIDS or cancer!
What is an autoimmune disease?
Arthritis is one of the most common autoimmune disorders. Your immune system is intelligent, and it smartly differentiates foreign bodies or germs from your own cells. But, when this ability to differentiate blurs, an attack ensues against your own cells. Arthritis is an outcome of such a process.
So, what is arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that causes your joints to swell. Such swelling in turn triggers joint pain, stiffness and immobility. It occurs when the tissues around your joints fall below the required level.
Symptoms of arthritis develop over time due to normal wear and tear. It is commonly seen in adults over 65, but can also occur in children, teens and younger adults. Sometimes, an infection or injury to your joints can worsen this natural breakdown of cartilage tissue.
Arthritis is more common among women than men, and especially in people who are obese. Rheumatoid arthritis – a painful type of arthritis – occurs to people with gout; pronounced more among men. However, women develop arthritis much later than men, and their condition is often more painful than men’s.
Pain in a 100 forms
There are over 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Causes and treatment options vary from one type of arthritis to another. Specialists at Tikotra focus on knowing the type first. Treatment and case management approaches succeed soon after pinning down the type.
So what’s it like to have arthritis?
There are some 100+ types of arthritis. Each has its own symptoms and pain points. For instance- rheumatoid arthritis can deform of hands and feet, gnarl fingers and bumps called nodules show up.
Wrists may get fused allowing little movement and knees chronically swollen. Everyday chores – often taken for granted by many – like sleeping, bathing, brushing, getting dressed, making meals or driving can turn unimaginably challenging.
Peaceful sleep at night becomes a fairy tale; sleep becomes a tossing and turning game all through the night. Shoulders become stiff and sore. If sleep is a nightmare, getting off the bed is a punishment. One may often see stiffened joints which have turned creaky in the mornings.
The morning chores – lesser said of them, the better. Simple tasks like opening jam jars to picking pills from pouches; using the toilet to getting ready for work; brushing hair to wearing shoes – all these are done by enduring high dose of pain. Imagine enduring these every day! Some days are bad, others are worse – be it summer or winter, autumn or spring.
World Arthritis Day – on 20th May – aims to create awareness about this painful medical condition.
8 ways to get relief from arthritis and 6 foods to avoid
So, what are the 8 ways to ally pains?
- Watch your weight and stay trim: Extra weight puts more loads onto your joints, especially the knees, hips and feet. Losing weight decreases pain and boosts mobility.
- Exercise: Regular movements help maintain flexibility. Your joints will thank you for working out. The more regular, the better it gets. But, stressful workouts like running and jogging are forbidden strict no; instead, try low-impact workouts like swimming or aerobics.
- Hot-and-Cold therapy: Long, warm showers in the mornings can ease joint stiffness; a warm blanket at nights helps keep your joints loose. Also, cold compresses done with an ice-gel pack or a cold vegetable bag help relieve pain and swelling.
- Acupuncture: It is a complementary therapy and WHO recommends to over 100 medical conditions.
- Meditation: Meditation and relaxation techniques can help reduce pain through effective stress management.
- Diet management: Consume Omega-3, avoid Omega-6 rich foods. Look for oilseed supplements. But consult your physician before you venture out into anything adventurous.
- Massage: Adequate research has been done to show regular massaging of arthritic joints help reduce stiffness and pain. Massages can improve mobility. Consult a qualified massage therapist for better results.
- Supplements: Try herbal and medical supplements available. Take your treating doctor’s advice on possible side effects and adverse drug interactions.
Foods to say big “no” to
(1)Processed foods, baked goods, pre-packaged meals & snacks
(2)Foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids
(3)Sugar and specific sugar alternatives
(4)Red meat and fried foods
(5)Cheese and high-fat dairy
There is no complete cure known for arthritis. But, better case management and rehabilitation can boost quality of your life.
On this World Arthritis Day, Tikotra reaffirms its support to people with arthritis.
We provide specialised care and arthritic relief through our physiotherapy service at home. Call Tikotra at 1800-313-1883 to know about a customised package that suits your need.