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OSTEOARTHRITIS IS DUE TO JOINT DAMAGE NOT AGEING -EXPERT

A physiotherapist, Dr Najim Raji says that daily stresses applied to the joints, particularly the weight-bearing points on the knee, ankle and hips, play important role in individuals developing osteoarthritis, a joint damage, rather than ageing.

Dr Raji spoke at the 2022 World Physiotherapy Day with the theme ‘Osteoarthritis’ organised by the Nigerian Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) Oyo State chapter, at the Medical Services and Hospital, 2 Division Nigerian Army Headquarters, Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment, Ojoo, Ibadan, Nigerian Tribune reports.

He declared that the damage in the joint can have a cumulative effect over time, which is why age is one of the main causes of joint damage leading to osteoarthritis given that the older one is, the more repetitive stress an individual’s joints would have undergone.

“Several factors related to ageing may, however, contribute to its development. For example, trauma before adulthood may initiate a remodelling of bone that alters joint mechanics and nutrition in a way that becomes problematic only later in life.”

“Even people in their 20s and 30s can get osteoarthritis, although there is often an underlying reason such as joint injury or repetitive joint stress from overuse.”

Dr Raji said causes of joint injury also include past injury from a torn cartilage, ligament injury or dislocated joints, joint malformation, obesity and poor posture, although pain is the main symptom of joint damage due to osteoarthritis aside from others like joint stiffing during rest, swelling, becoming tender and losing flexibility.

He, however, urged individuals with aching joints to seek timely treatment, saying early treatment can help arrest permanent damage in the joint and this also affects the other joints in the body.

Chairman, NSP Oyo State chapter, Dr Olubukola Olaleye, said unlike before, osteoarthritis can be prevented and when it has developed can be managed, hence the sensitisation and free treatment at the military hospital in Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment.

According to her, currently, in Nigeria, seven out of 10 patients with a degenerated joint problem have osteoarthritis and the tendency to develop it increases with age and obesity.

She declared “physiotherapists have an important role in the prevention of that osteoarthritis and its management through the prescription of appropriate exercise and guidance whether the person needs to lose weight and strengthen the muscles around the joint.”

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