What Are The Causes Of Arthritis In Youth? How To Deal With It? See What Experts Say
Arthritis, commonly associated with ageing, can also afflict the younger population, presenting unique challenges and concerns. While youth is usually synonymous with vitality and agility, there are several factors that can contribute to arthritis in young individuals. Let us explore the various causes of arthritis in youth and why it’s essential to address these issues promptly.
Causes Of Arthritis In Youth:
Dr. Gaurav Gupta, Director who is in the Orthopaedics, Joint Replacement, Arthroscopy and Sports Injury department at Max Healthcare, Dehradun laid down the causes of arthritis in youth:
1. Physical Inactivity and Muscle Weakness: Modern lifestyles often involve prolonged periods of inactivity, due to sedentary jobs and excessive screen time. This lack of physical activity can lead to muscle weakness, which places additional stress on the joints. Weak muscles are less capable of providing support and stability to joints, making them more susceptible to arthritis.
2. Ignoring Joint Injuries and Wrong Treatment: Youthful exuberance often leads to a tendency to downplay joint injuries, believing they will heal on their own. Ignoring or improperly treating joint injuries can lead to long-term damage to the joints and increase the risk of developing arthritis.
3. Congenital and Developmental Malalignments of Limbs: Some individuals are born with congenital limb malalignments or may develop these conditions during growth. These structural issues can create abnormal stress on the joints, potentially causing arthritis at an early age.
4. Wrong Use of Joints/Wrong Posture: Incorrect posture while sitting, standing, or engaging in high-demand physical activities can contribute to joint problems. Using joints improperly or repeatedly engaging in activities that strain them can lead to joint damage over time.
5. Hyperuricemia: Elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, a condition known as hyperuricemia, can lead to gouty arthritis. This painful form of arthritis can affect young individuals, particularly those with dietary habits that promote high uric acid levels.
6. Autoimmune Disorders: While less common, autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and Psoriasis can strike young people. These conditions involve the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy joint tissues, causing inflammation and arthritis.
How Can Youth Prevent Arthritis?
Dr Aparna Bhanushali, who is the Head of Growth & Scientific Support at HaystackAnalytics said, “Though arthritis is not completely preventable, there are several techniques which can help in reducing the risk and further delaying the onset of arthritis. An individual is recommended to adopt a holistic approach by incorporating certain lifestyle changes such as consuming a well-nutritious diet which is rich in calcium, vitamins, protein and omega-3 to maintain good joint health. Moreover, an individual can also involve themselves in physical activities like jogging, yoga, swimming, etc., which can help them keep their body active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Managing autoimmune arthritis and/or those with a strong genetic component requires a combination of medical management and lifestyle modifications personalized to individual needs.”
Care Tips For Arthritis In Youth:
Dr. Aman Priya Khanna who is the Co-founder and Medical Director of HexaHealth and a General, Laser, Bariatric, and Minimal Access Surgeon said, “A new demographic is emerging, with arthritis affecting younger individuals, some as young as 16, who are grappling with the chronic condition’s painful symptoms, including joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.”
To effectively manage arthritis, especially at a younger age, it is essential to adopt a holistic approach. Here are some key care tips shred by Dr. Aman Priya
- Raise Arthritis Awareness: Educate people about arthritis, its causes, symptoms, and available treatments for early detection and care.
- Eat Healthily: Opt for a balanced diet rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein. Avoid processed foods, sugar items, and saturated fats.
- Stay Active and Take Breaks: Regular, gentle exercises enhance joint flexibility and strength. Take short breaks during desk work to prevent strain.
- Manage Weight: Maintain a healthy weight to reduce joint stress, especially in weight-bearing areas like knees, hips, and spine.
- Handle Stress: Use stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
- Follow the Treatment Plan: Adhere to prescribed medications and treatment from healthcare professionals.
[Disclaimer: The information provided in the article, including treatment suggestions shared by doctors, is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.]