With this global crisis of Covid-19, it is mandatory to stay indoors to keep ourselves safe and sound. As the elderly are reportedly more prone to coronavirus infection, it is all the more necessary for them to stay quarantined to keep the infection at bay. There is the added concern of stiffness and body pain, especially among those with joint conditions like arthritis.
It is very important for the elderly to keep their body active to avoid joint stiffness, body pains and other ailments. During the Covid-19 lockdown, one must take special care in terms of body movement, pain management and follow a good lifestyle.
“Staying indoors is the need of the hour for everyone. Low immunity makes the elderly prone to COVID-19, hence it is even more important for them to stay at home. Since the lockdown, many of my patients, during the virtual consultation, are reporting increased knee pain and discomfort. For arthritis patients, living an active lifestyle and maintaining optimum weight is crucial to effectively manage the debilitating pain,” says Dr Ramneek Mahajan, Director – Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi.
He advises, “Every extra kilogram of weight can cause four times the pressure on the knees. Therefore, take a stroll inside the house every hour to keep your knees active and avoid sitting in one place for long. If your knees are swollen, use ice packs or heat packs for relief.”
Here’s some advice on how to keep your joints healthy and stay active during these difficult times.
* Staying physically active can go a long way in strengthening the muscles around the joint, thereby keeping arthritis pain at bay.
* With most people following the work-from-home regime, it is essential to take frequent breaks at work for stretching and readjusting posture.
* Having a bad posture puts extra pressure on the joints, especially the knee, which is the largest load-bearing joint in the body. This can eventually cause knee pain.
* Keep a tab on your weight and include weight-loss exercises in your everyday routine.
* Have a vitamin and mineral-rich diet with spinach, cherries, orange, grapes, walnuts, soybean, ginger. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily to keep your joints well-lubricated and reduce inflammation.
“Exercise plays a crucial role in managing arthritis pain. Being a degenerative joint condition, it can affect one’s quality of life severely if not dealt with properly. And leading an active, healthy lifestyle is the key to tackling joint pain,” explains Dr Narayan Hulse, Director of Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Bangalore.
He remarks, “A gym workout or outdoor exercise aren’t the only ways to stay fit and lose weight. You can burn calories even while staying at home. During this lockdown period, indulge in yoga and warm-ups, join your loved ones in home cleaning, revive your love for gardening or practice meditation. A good night’s sleep too can help work wonders for managing pain and stress. If arthritis pain makes your sleep uncomfortable, try using a pillow beneath to take the pressure off the joint.”