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Guard against joint injuries to prevent arthritis – NSR

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Arthritis

The Nigerian Society of Rheumatologists (NSR) has advised Nigerians to choose activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, swimming, and others while engaging in exercise and daily activities to avoid joint injuries that can cause or worsen arthritis.

They stated that these activities have a low risk of injury and do not twist or put too much stress on the joints.

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The rheumatologists made these calls at a webinar organised by the association to mark World Arthritis Day 2020, titled, Time to work: debunking arthritis myths and stating the facts.

Consultant physician and rheumatologist at the Lagos State College of Medicine/Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos, Dr. Olaosebikan Hakeem, noted that it was time all Nigerians join hands to end arthritis by adhering to the laydown procedures that could trigger the ailment.

He said sports or work-related injuries to joints could increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis. To reduce the likelihood of developing or worsening osteoarthritis, he said they should take steps to minimise or prevent injuries to joints, such as wearing protective equipment and avoiding repetitive motion joint damage.

Consultant rheumatologist at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Dr. Abubakar Yerima, speaking on osteoarthritis, said people should try to see their doctors whenever they have arthritis. “It is important to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so you can start treatment and work to minimize symptoms and prevent the disease from getting worse,” he said.

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He said that losing excess weight and staying at a healthy weight is particularly important for people with arthritis.

For people who are overweight or obese, losing weight reduces stress on joints, particularly weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees. At any age, low-impact, arthritis-friendly physical activity (like walking) and dietary changes can help you lose weight.

He said: “You can play an active role in controlling your arthritis by attending regular appointments with your health care provider and following your recommended treatment plan. This is especially important if you also have other chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart disease”.

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