As you grow older, orthopaedic problems are a natural thing. There are nearly 12 crore people over the age of 60 in India, and that figure is expected to rise. This rapidly ageing population and biological changes to older adults’ bodies mean that orthopaedic injuries are increasing. Orthopaedic problems are more common among aged men while more aged women reported suffering from the problem of joints.
Orthopaedic problems don’t simply appear. Instead, they slowly develop over time. Because of this, it’s common for them to start appearing as people age. A few are lucky and dodge any serious issues, but those cases are certainly rare. Whether it’s osteoporosis or osteoarthritis, nearly everyone deals with something.
If you are concerned, it’s important to account for these problems now. Learning about your risk and what can compound issues can prevent serious injury down the road. Of course, orthopaedic problems aren’t like the rest. Very few are the result of genetics, but instead actions that you take every day. Whether it’s long hours at the computer or running in harsh conditions or the lifestyle changes which are everywhere now, the things you do or don’t do are what put you at risk. Taking action now is the best way to deal with these conditions, as prevention is often more effective than treatment.
If you take care of your health, you can prevent some of them, though. If you are concerned, these are some orthopaedic problems to watch for as you age.
1 in 3 older adults is affected by Osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative disease that largely affects the hands, ankles, fingers, spine, and knees. Osteoarthritis makes it difficult to perform everyday activities, especially those that require flexibility, movement or fine motor dexterity. Your orthopaedic specialist can recommend treatments to decrease the pain and increase ease of motion.
This is another serious problem facing the elderly. As people age, their bone mineral density decreases. This is typically problematic in post-menopausal women. Decreased mineral levels result in weaker, more brittle bones. It gets worse as older adults have more unsteady balance and vision problems, this is the cause for increased risk of fractures. Strength training exercises are useful to increase bone strength, which can minimise the likelihood of fracturing a bone.
When a joint becomes dislocated, the bones that make up that joint shift from their original place. This commonly happens after a fall, in which the jolt knocks bones out of the joint. Older adults having dislocated joint experience immediate pain, which reduces after a physician helps put the joint back in place.
Bone mass peaks at about 30 years of age and starts decreasing as we age. This increases the risk of osteoporosis in older adults. This is a bone disease that is related to decreased bone density and low overall bone mass. When the bone production process cannot keep up with bone loss, the bones become brittle and weak.
For every 10 lbs. of weight gained, there is a 36% increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Obesity also puts more weight on your joints, which can weaken muscles and make injuries more likely.
Good exercises for everyone - even those with some orthopaedic sensitivity - include stretching, walking, swimming and biking on level ground. Try to avoid exercises that put too much stress on your joints, like deep knee bends. But keep working to increase muscle mass no matter your age.
Strong core muscles help you balance your body weight. Yoga and Pilates are two good kinds of exercise to strengthen your core and promote orthopaedic health.
Stretching is important to maintain flexibility, improve performance and decrease stress injuries like sprains and strains. If you're going to lift weights or do high impact aerobics, work on warm-up and stretching exercises before and after exercise. These types of exercises promote increased flexibility and help prevent muscle and joint injuries.
Supportive shoes promote proper alignment. Women who wear high heels on a regular basis increase their risk of developing back pain and knee pain.
Yearly visits to your primary care doctor are one great way to stay on top of your orthopaedic health. This is especially important for older adults, who can be more likely to develop arthritis and suffer injuries. A primary care doctor can discuss additional preventive measures to protect your orthopaedic and overall health.
If you’re still experiencing pain in your muscles, joints, or bones after following the tips above you might have to see a doctor. If you have any of the following symptoms, we recommend you make an appointment with your physician to be evaluated.
- You have pain, stiffness, or discomfort that are making it difficult to perform everyday activities
- You are experiencing chronic pain (pain lasting longer than 12 weeks)
- You’re noticing decreases in your range of motion
- You feel unstable while walking or standing
- You have had a soft tissue injury, and it’s not improving after 48 hours
In Zoi’s orthopaedics and traumatology department, each of our orthopaedic doctors is an expert in a specific area of orthopaedics, which means that you will always receive individualized care and specialized treatment.
The department of Orthopedics and Traumatology specialises in handling accident and trauma cases, joint and bone diseases and sports injuries that require advanced surgical procedures and physiotherapy for a complete repair.
Our orthopedists perform a variety of procedures including knee ligament tear surgery (with the most common being ACL repair surgery, partial and total knee replacement, total hip replacement, computer navigation-assisted joint replacement, shoulder injury repair surgery and spine surgery (especially minimally invasive techniques), all of which are performed by some of the best orthopedic surgeons in Hyderabad.
At Zoi orthopaedic hospital, we don't just provide orthopaedic treatment, we make sure that you get back in action as soon as possible.
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