Bhubaneswar: With the onset of winter, the woes of people suffering from joint issues are likely to spike as the seasonal transformation is expected to trigger changes in the body which can exaggerate the suffering of the patients, say doctors.
Doctors dealing with bones and joint issues claim that with the entry of winter season, problems of patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis could escalate. However, medical professionals claim that with slight modifications in lifestyle and medical consultations, it is possible to make the season lesser painful for them.
“During this season we see frequent joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients. In this season, the day hours get reduced and the exercise routine of people undergoes a change. This season can also trigger spasms among these patients which can cause more discomfort to them,” said Dr Gayadhar Behera, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at Kalinga Hospital.
He also added that the cold weather can potentially reduce blood circulation in toes and fingers which can aggravate the pain among arthritis patients. Due to these reasons, the woes of the arthritis patients increase manifold during winters, according to experts.
This disease is known to affect people in their 40s and affects about 0.92 per cent of the adult population in India, as reported in several studies by healthcare experts. Almost 20-40 new cases are reported in the population every year which finally forces one-third of the working population to quit their work within a couple of years of the onset of the disease.
This joint ailment is said to be a systemic auto-immune disorder (self-harming) in which the body’s own immune system, mistakenly attacks the joints of the same person.
“This is a case where the immune system of the human body goes on a mission to attack and harm and tissues and muscles of the same person. The result is a swollen tissue lying between the joints which creates problems in movement in the bony joints and leads to pain,” said Dr Pooja Shah, a physician from the city.
In chronic cases, the joints gradually become painful, loose, unstable and lose their mobility. Joint deformity can lead to painful suffering in daily activities. As the joint damage is irreversible, doctors recommend early diagnosis and aggressive treatment to control the disease.
Experts claim that early diagnosis can help to tackle the disease better. Dr Behera said, “Early diagnosis can check progression of benign symptoms which, in worse cases, can cause deformation of joints and disability. Risk of getting this disease is higher if one of your family has suffered from this. It is also considered to be the predecessor for Osteoporosis and Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic cell) as well.”