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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Covid-19 and arthritis: Why people with joint pain should not delay treatment

If you are suffering from hip and knee arthritis, don’t delay the surgery as it will further cause the deterioration in your health, says Dr Subhash Jangid, Director and Unit Head, Fortis bone and joint institute, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 22, 2020 2:26:34 pm
covid 19, arthritis, knee surgery, covid arthritis, covid 19 pandemic, indian express lifestyle, indian express newsPeople who suffer from long standing arthritis of the joints find it difficult to move and walk around because of pain. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Covid-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of being fit. It is a well-known fact that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. Certain medical conditions like diabetes, obesity and hypertension need to be well controlled to have better immunity against infections.

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People who are suffering from long-standing arthritis of the joints are not able to move and walk around because of pain and disability in their joints. This can lead to uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and weight gain because of less calorie expenditure. This can, in turn, weaken the bones and muscles of the limbs, causing a disease called osteoporosis. “This complicates the whole situation because now these people are not only just suffering from arthritis but also osteoporosis and weak muscles. This leads to increased fragility of the bone and also instability while walking. These patients have an increased tendency to fall and we are witnessing many such patients with fractures around the hip and leg bones,” Dr Subhash Jangid, director and unit head, Fortis bone and joint institute, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram told indianexpress.com.

If someone is not able to move because of weak bones and arthritis, they should get themselves treated by medication or by surgery. That is because, if they get COVID-19 infection in such a situation, they may face a tough time recovering because of weak muscles (including chest muscles) and poor immunity. Taking multivitamins and other healthy foods are not just enough to boost immunity. Health experts have repeatedly emphasised on exercising every day, maybe just a brisk walk for 30 min every day.

“So, if you are suffering from hip and knee arthritis, don’t delay the surgery and prolong the suffering as it is a vicious cycle that will further cause deterioration in your health. We have to take precautions and stop fearing the pandemic. Precautions are the most important thing which can save us from this illness,” Dr Jangid added.

Read| Have arthritis? Some of these exercises can help

Delaying your health needs will take a toll on the recovery as well and the results may be compromised. “We are seeing a lot of patients with advanced diseases owing to the delay in surgery now that they are scared to step out. Your health and immunity are the only saviour against COVID-19 and we need to focus on the same,” the doctor further said.

“The biggest myth is that the hospitals are COVID-19 hot spots. If hospitals would have been hot spots, almost all medical staff would have been infected by now. But that is not what we are seeing all over the world. Actually, coronavirus is everywhere and the hospitals are one of the safest places because the guards against the virus are always on. People are getting the infection from the grocery stores and markets rather than from the hospitals. Everyone remains safe if they take precautions. And in hospitals, people take maximum precautions,” Dr Jangid remarked.

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