New Delhi: 'Health is wealth' is more of hearsay than practice and rising incidence of health disorders, owing to poor lifestyle, are indicative of the fact that seldom our health is taken seriously.
On the occasion of National Youth Day, Dr Palash Gupta, Director-Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh, advices on reasons for today's youth's poor health and simple lifestyle modifications that can turn out to be life changing.
Amongst various other health issues, poor bone and joint health is affecting old and young alike. It is unfortunate to see people as young as in their 40s/50s having serious joint disorders with arthritis being one of them, followed by avascular necrosis (AVN) and ankylosing spondylitis. Chronic arthritis can severely restrict an individual's movements or even cripple them.
Dr Gupta, elaborates, "The skeletal system forms the framework of the human body. Over the past few years, orthopedists have witnessed a significant surge in the number of young patients consulting them for multiple joint pain, backache, muscle fatigue, knee and hip pain. There has also been a rise in the instances of knee and hip replacements among the young."
Lifestyle plays a major role in keeping the bone joints and muscles healthy. While some joint ailments are hereditary in nature, most of these are lifestyle-led diseases.
Joint replacement surgeon, Dr Gupta, points out some of the potentially harmful routines that can be damaging your joints but the good news is that bit of awareness, changes in lifestyle and few precautions can prevent these health issues.
1. Getting influenced by social media for staying fit: Youngsters are often seen subscribing to online channels, in a bid to stay fit, of Zumba and Aerobics. This trend can create havoc for joints as indulging in exercise regime not supervised by a trainer. People often do the mistake of rapid switches between beginner to advanced level which can be detrimental to the joints.
2. Hitting the gym for weight reduction: At times, in the urge to shed kilos faster, youngsters end up overdoing the exercise. Muscle soreness for 24 hours is usual after a hard workout but it should never leave you in pain or make it worse for days. Working the knee through pain can increase your odds of injuring the joint, which can cause arthritis in the long run.
3. Taking protein supplements: Resorting to shortcuts like protein supplements to help beef up the body for Bollywood-like physique is not uncommon. While supplements might help you achieve the looks, prolonged usage of such supplements which contain steroids can shrink the veins that circulate blood to the bone tissue, leading to AVN i.e. death of the bone tissue which eventually results in joint destruction. In such cases, hip joint collapses completely, leaving hip replacement surgery as the only resort.
4. Lack of sleep: If working into the night, binge-watching or attending late night party and sleeping for four hours sounds familiar to you, then be wary that less sleep might be the reason for those joint aches. When an individual sleeps their inflammation levels go down, allowing the body an opportunity to heal. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep at one go is important to keep your joints and muscles healthy.
5. Travelling or sitting for long hours: Sitting in the same posture for long period of time due to work or while travelling can interrupt the blood flow to the joints causing pain and stiffness. Taking small breaks at work to stretch or including 30-40 mins of continuous walk in your routine can help in improving the blood circulation to the joint and its peripheral areas aiding in better mobility and healthy joints. Ditch the cab and opt for a metro or a bus to commute to work.
6. Consuming aerated drinks and smoking: Prolonged smoking, consumption of processed junk food and frequent intake of aerated drinks can make your bones hollow, putting you at an increased risk of fractures. Apart from avoiding sodas and cigarettes, youngsters also need to make calcium and Vitamin-D rich diet their go-to food to strengthen the joints and muscles.