Ludhiana, October 12, 2019: DMCH recognized 12th October as World Arthritis Day to raise awareness about arthritis among general public. and Dr Rajnish Garg, Professor and Head, Department of Orthopaedics and Dr Vikas Gupta, Assistant Professor in the Department of Rheumatology & Immunology, delivered lectures to raise awareness about arthritis.
While Dr Rajnish Garg spoke on Osteoarthritis, Dr Vikas Gupta spoke primarily on Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis has a prevalence of about 1% worldwide and can affect people of all age groups, including children and adolescents. Women are more commonly affected then men.
Pain, swellingand early morning stiffness in small joints of hands and feet are the common early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Large joints like shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles can also be affected. Rheumatoid Arthritis not only affects joints but can also affect other organs of the body, particularly if not adequately controlled. Long standing disease can cause dryness of eyes and mouth. It can also affect lungs causing breathlessness. Sometimes nerves and rarely, kidneys can also get affected. Very effective treatment with disease modifying drugs (DMARDs) is available nowadays, with which patients can lead a healthy life without the need for painkillers. If recognized early and adequately treated, joint deformities and other complications can be prevented.
Arthritis can also occur in other rheumatic diseases like Sjogren Syndrome, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), and Scleroderma. Arthritis can also occur after viral infections likeChikungunya and Dengue fever. It is important for public to be aware of the symptoms of arthritis so that they can seek help of experts in treating this condition, and thereby, prevent long-term damage to joints. With proper treatment, those affected can lead a healthy and pain free life.