Suffering from arthritis? Bad habits that are deadly for your joints.
In a perfect world, pain wouldn’t exist, our weight would be optimal and we’d enjoy daily exercise and have the energy to spare. But the world is not perfect, and sometimes our bad habits get in the way of our best intentions to live a healthy life. Such is the case of arthritis. A musculoskeletal disorder, arthritis affects millions across the world. It is a debilitating condition that restricts your range of movement and affects your functional life. If left untreated, it may inhibit your movement altogether. Also Read – Phase 3 trial in India shows arthritis drug can reduce death risk in severe COVID patients
WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?
Arthritis is a joint disorder that causes the inflammation of one or more joints leading to pain. It is an umbrella term for over 100 different forms of joint disorder. Each form of arthritis comes with its own set of complications, causes, and prognosis. The most common forms of this condition are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis. Other common types include psoriatic arthritis, (associated with conditions), gout (deposition of uric acid), etc. Almost 50 million people around the world are affected by one or another form of arthritis. Also Read – Ayurvedic medicines for chronic pain can reduce consumption of painkillers by 90%: Survey
SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRITIS
Regardless of the type, arthritis causes pain and limits your range of movement. If your arthritis is due to inflammation of the joints then you may experience joint swelling, redness, warmth, and stiffness. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, various organs of your body may be affected. You may experience fever, lymph nodes swelling, weight loss, tiredness, inability to use your hand, difficulty in walking, and poor sleep. Here is how you can distinguish regular pain from early signs of arthritis: Also Read – Study proves efficacy of 3 ayurvedic kashayams for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
The pains last for more than a week
You experience unexplained joint pain usually accompanied by fever
You experience difficulty in carrying out daily chores due to joint pain
Your joint pain isn’t cured by pain killers
There is swelling and stiffness in the joints
HABITS THAT COULD AFFECT YOUR CHANCE OF GETTING ARTHRITIS
Most young people don’t tend to think much about arthritis. However, like many other areas of our health, the habits we do now have an effect on our chances of getting arthritis later. There are even some things that cause arthritis that you may be doing everyday without realizing. Even though arthritis may not be at the top of your mind now, it’s important to pay attention to the little habits you do that can cause issues down the road. # Being Overweight Or Obese People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop arthritis. According to the research, the more weight you put on, the more is the amount of burden you give to your hips, back, and feet. In addition to the physical stress that increased weight places on joints, fat secretes inflammatory chemicals that may also cause joint pain and increase the risk of arthritis and other chronic conditions. # Texting Well, yes you read it right! The position that you use while texting someone can trigger your joint pain. Texting frequently and holding your phone in the exact same position can cause “smartphone thumb.” Texting stresses joints in your hands, especially your thumbs. So, if you want to keep arthritis at bay – minimize thumb texting or use the voice function to keep texting hands-free. Texting can be bad for your shoulders and neck, too. # Eating over-processed foods Sugar and white flour – and the overabundance of them in processed foods – can lead to weight gain, which is hard on sore joints. Replace them with fruits, nuts, and whole grains. # Knuckle cracking Yes, the age-old debate as to whether chronic knuckle cracking can increase people’s risk of arthritis – which is still ongoing… let’s debunk it. Yes, it can have a negative effect on your joints. When the snapping sound that occurs when knuckles are cracked is the result of bubbles bursting in the fluid, called synovial fluid, that helps the joints stay lubricated and avoid friction with cartilage. So, the next time when you feel like cracking your knuckles, remember that it can cause joint pain later. # Wearing uncomfortable/ or / heel shoes Wearing uncomfortable shoes or high heels place your feet in an awkward position that stresses joints, strains muscles, and can throw your back out of alignment. They make your thigh muscles work harder to keep your knees straight. It also places dangerous twisting forces on your knees. So, women who wear heels daily must keep this point in their minds that this habit may increase their risk of developing osteoarthritis and foot pain. # Smoking Smoking can harm more than just your lungs. According to the studies, smoking is linked to the development of rheumatoid arthritis, as it is thought to ignite and fuel overactive immune systems in individuals with other autoimmune conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects your joints, and it was also found that drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can be made less effective if someone is a smoker. Apart from these some of the other causes of arthritis are:
Injury- It may cause degenerative arthritis
Abnormal metabolism-It leads to gout
Genetic predisposition – It increases your risk of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis
Infections-such as in the arthritis of Lyme disease
Immune System Dysfunction-It leads to rheumatoid arthritis
Professions that demand long hours of sitting.
DIET YOU SHOULD FOLLOW
Eating certain kinds of food could help you relieve the symptoms of arthritis while others could worsen them. # Spice it up If you want to beat arthritis you need to include more vegetables such as garlic and onions into your diet. Ideally, you should combine them with ginger. # Try some variety in your rotis When it comes to your rotis, try those made of jowar, nachani, raagi and bajra. These are great for your arthritis-ridden joints because they contain nutrients that help ease your pain. # All fats are not bad You also need healthy fats to soothe the joints – the kind present in nuts and seeds like walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, etc. Cook your food in extra virgin olive oil and don’t forget to dab some ghee on your rotis. If you do not like ghee, a good amount of coconut flesh can be an alternative. These fats not only help lubricate the joints, but they also enable the absorption of certain vitamins that provide nutrition to the joints. # Beware of foods that worsen the pain Avoid tomatoes, lemon, amla, imli, dairy products, and wheat if possible. These foods could possibly worsen the pain in your joints. However, the worst part about this is the fact that cutting some of these foods could deprive you of Vitamin C. So you must ensure that you get enough guava and kokum in your daily diet. This will not only keep your vitamin C levels up but also help fight inflammation. Other foods that you should avoid are white flour, white sugar, and table salt. Switch from white sugar to natural sweeteners like jaggery and dates. You could also replace your white salt with rock salt and sea salt. They contain additional minerals with healing properties that are not available in white table salt. # Keep a tab on your vitamins In addition to all the healthy changes, you should also keep a regular tab on your vitamin B 12 and vitamin D 3 levels, the latter being slightly more important in case of arthritis. Consult a physician and take the supplements as required. Low vitamin B 12 and vitamin D 3 levels are a sure shot sign of arthritis.
PREVENT YOUR JOINTS WITH THESE CHANGES
Some forms of this joint disorder cannot actually be prevented because they are the results of non-modifiable factors like age, genes, and gender. However, a few habits may reduce your risk of arthritis: # Maintain a healthy body weight Your knees bear the most of your weight. So, being overweight will hurt them the most and lead to erosion of the joint. Regular workout is the key to keeping off the extra kilos and strengthen your muscles and joints. Follow a routine that combines aerobic workouts, strength training exercises, and light stretches. # Keep injuries at bay Degeneration of joints is a natural phenomenon of ageing. But this process becomes faster when your bones are injured and cartilage damaged. To reduce your risk of injury, use adequate safety equipment if you are involved in any kind of sport. Learn the right techniques while exercising. # Pay attention to your posture The posture that you use while sitting, standing, or lifting weights determines the health of your bones and muscles to a large extent. While picking up an object, keep it close to your body and lift your knees and hips instead of your back. This will make sure that your back muscles and wrists are not strained. Also, while sitting for long hours, your back, legs, and hands should be supported well. The everyday choices you make — like how active you are and how you handle stress and fatigue — affect your joints. So, right from this moment – live a healthy lifestyle and stay away from joint pain or arthritis.