Every year, the National Bone and Joint Day is observed on August 4 in India. This country-wide health campaign was started by the Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA) in 2021 to highlight the importance of strong bones and joints in people of all age groups. The day aims to raise awareness about bone and joint health among the population and prevent various musculoskeletal disorders and conditions.
By educating people about the signs and symptoms of bone and joint issues, the day encourages early detection and timely intervention. Early diagnosis can lead to better treatment outcomes and improved quality of life. So, on this day, we turned to experts on how to maintain our bone and joint health. But before that let us get the basics out of the way.
According to Dr Harish Ghoota, additional director (orthopaedics), Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, the main reasons for deteriorated bone and joint health include lack of awareness about essential physical activities, lack of proper nutrition enriched with vitamin D, habits like alcohol consumption, tobacco chewing and smoking, and lack of calcium intake in young and postmenopausal women.
Recognising the signs of weak bones and joints is crucial for early intervention. “Common symptoms include persistent joint pain, stiffness, swelling, reduced range of motion, difficulty in performing daily activities and an increased susceptibility to fractures. Chronic pain and discomfort in the back, hips, knees and shoulders could also indicate bone and joint problems. If someone experiences any of these symptoms, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment,” Dr. Sourabh Kulkarni, senior consultant (orthopaedics), Pristyn Care said.
Now, to the main part. Here are some simple tips to keep your bones and joints strong, according to Dr Debashish Chanda, lead consultant (orthopaedics), CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram:
*Balanced diet: Ensure your diet includes calcium-rich foods (dairy products, leafy greens) and vitamin D sources (sunlight, fatty fish) to support bone health.
*Regular exercise: Engage in weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging, dancing or weightlifting to promote bone density and joint health.
*Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts strain on joints, so maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of joint problems.
*Avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can weaken bones and increase the risk of joint issues.
*Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water supports joint lubrication and overall bodily functions.
*Proper posture: Maintain good posture to reduce stress on joints and promote spinal health.
*Avoid prolonged inactivity: Regular movement helps keep joints flexible and strengthens the surrounding muscles.
*Use proper body mechanics: When lifting heavy objects or performing physical tasks, use proper body mechanics to protect your bones and joints from injury.
*Avoid excessive impact: Minimise activities that subject your joints to excessive impact or stress.
*Consult a healthcare professional: Regular check-ups and consultations with healthcare providers can help identify and address any bone or joint issues early on.
“Remember that individual needs may vary, so it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice and recommendations,” he concluded.