The prevalence of joint pain is not new and uncommon these days as a higher proportion of young and middle-aged population have been spotted in this limelight. While COVID has been a major threat to overall health, yet people affected with the infection have been immobilized for long either due to home quarantine or hospitalization. Further the ill-effects of the virus have also triggered weakness in the muscles and joints. Attributed by a plethora of reasons including family history, age related degeneration, obesity, physical inactivity, acquired infections like rheumatoid Arthritis, osteoporosis and other inflammatory ailments, in association with the COVID complications are the triggering factors for the onset of joint pain. Nutrition deficiency including Vitamin D3 and B12 are the major contributing factors to have severely impacted the bones and cartilage that provide strength to the joints. Those with pre-existing conditions have also been suspected to have an increased complication of joint pain, swelling, muscle and joint stiffness, difficulty in walking etc. in the post COVID era. While the severity may vary from mild, moderate to severe, many patients have been coming up with complaints of severe and recurrent complications amid the lockdown. One of the major aspects that is making the professionals succumb to pain is work from home.
While most of the working professionals always dreamt of working from home but amid the lockdown, this time during the lockdown, improper posture, seeking comfort zone while working are major for causing joint related ailments in the long run. Increased dependence on junk and frozen food are the prime reason for causing arthritis and debilitating joint pain. the bacteria that thrive on a high-fat junk food triggers inflammation in the body which causes our immune system to attack its own cartilage and cells in joints like the knee, which are subject to a lot of wear and are particularly susceptible. Being associated with modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors such as obesity, lack of exercise, bone density, occupational injury, inclusion of poor ergonomics. The physical ability arising from pain and loss of functional capacity reduces the quality of life and increases the risk of further morbidity. However, by maintaining active lifestyle such as performing regular exercises and following safe practices while sitting and bending, most of the problems can be prevented. While having an active lifestyle for so many years which has been diminished for over the COVID period does have an impact on the overall health. Either working in poor postures, or lying down to relax, with much reduced movements, the body is bound to become stiff. Keeping yourself active is the best way to avoid stiffness and associated complaints and for an overall healthy joint in the longer run. Stretching exercises can also prevent pain.
(The author is a Senior hip & knee Replacement surgeon, Centre for knee and hip care, Ghaziabad .Views are his own)