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Arthritis Management during the lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic :

Arthritis Management during the lockdown

Edited Version | Hyderabad | 3rd May 2020 |

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought bigger challenges for everyone including arthritis patients.

Studies Says that “ people with autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis at a higher risk to the Coronavirus infection “.

Arthritis-India reports that 15% of our population or 180 million people are affected by arthritis.

High-Risk Group

Dr Mir Jawad Zar Khan Sir , Managing Director & Senior Consultant in Joint Replacement Orthopedic surgeon at Germanten Hospital , Hyderabad , describes those with rheumatoid arthritis as a higher risk group. “These patients already have low immunity. Also, the drugs used in the treatment of autoimmune arthritis weaken immunity. But we have to use the medicines to relieve the symptoms. So they need to be very cautious,” says Dr Jawad Sir “The morbidity and mortality rate is also higher in people with immune-compromised rheumatoid arthritis. They may take longer to recover as well,” he adds.

Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints.It can be categorized into two types: Osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis that occurs with growing age and rheumatoid arthritis that can afflict young people too. This type of arthritis puts patients at greater risk for infections, including the COVID-19.

Medications for the management of rheumatologic conditions weaken immunity, making these patients more vulnerable to infections.

Tackling Lockdown Woes:

  • Exercise at Home :
  • Walks, exercises and physiotherapy sessions are a routine prescribed for most arthritis patients.

    However, the lockdown has restricted their movement which increases pain as well as stiffness in joints.

    Dr Mir Jawad Zar Khan Sir says that patients should not discontinue their exercise. “Exercise at home and increase the duration. If you have a cycle or treadmill at home, use them. Other than jogging and walking, most of the exercises including muscle strengthening, stretching exercises can be done at home.

  • Pain Management :
  • Many arthritic patients are battling a surge in joint pain due to a change in routine.

    For patients with osteoarthritis, Dr Mir Jawad Zar Khan Sir says, “These days the painkillers patients are prescribed are quite safe and their dosage can be increased to a certain limit to relieve pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs can also be taken to alleviate symptoms.” However, he cautions against increasing dosage without consulting their doctors.

    Doctors also prescribe the use of fomentation and analgesic gels to manage pain locally.

    As a long-term solution, many doctors recommend knee replacement or joint surgeries for severe symptoms where movement and daily activities are significantly reduced.

    However, these are viable options only after the Coronavirus threat ends, till which time patients need to stay cautious.

  • Battling Anxiety :
  • During the lockdown, doctors are also reporting a rise in anxiety levels and psychosomatic issues among the elderly and patients with bone and joint issues. Since patients are unable to go for regular checkups as OPDs are shut, panic calls to doctors are increasing. Experts say regular exercise and yoga can relieve both anxiety and stress.

  • Eating Right :
  • Controlling your diet is crucial during a lockdown. Dr Mir Jawad Zar Khan Sir advises against consuming high amounts of carbohydrates and sugar. “Add more protein and vegetables, salads to your diet and reduce intake of rice and chapattis, especially if you can’t walk or exercise much,” he says.

    For more details plz log on https://www.drjawadortho.com/ or call 9000 900 937 / 9989635555for Appointment

    .

Dr. Mir Jawad Zar Khan
Managing Director & Senior Joint Replacement Surgeon
MBBS, MS – Orthopedics (Gold Medalist – Osmania University),
M.Ch – Orthopedics (Usaim, Seychelles),
Fellowship in Knee Arthroscopy, fellowship in Arthoplasty (Munich, Germany)

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