Charles H Mayo the famous physician once said “While there are many diseases much more disabling than cancer none is more feared”. This applies very well to rheumatic & Immunological disorders which are the major cause of mortality & morbidity in the community affecting all age groups.
Pay attention to symptoms, see your doctor and get an accurate diagnosis
This is most important. Rheumatologist is a physician who is an expert in musculoskeletal, joint and pain disorders. You need to consult your doctor if any of these warning signs or symptoms occurs to determine the type of pain syndrome you have:
Persistent pain, stiffness on arising
Pain, tenderness or swelling in one or more joints.
Persistent pain, stiffness in neck, back, knees or other joints
By consulting your doctor immediately an effective treatment plan can be formulated to prevent any potential damage and lessen the symptoms. Remember getting the right treatment requires getting the right diagnosis.
Regular exercise is very important not only for patients suffering from various pain syndromes but also in preventing certain disorders like spondylosis etc. It also boosts the immune response; gives more energy & stamina; protection against heart problems, obesity, diabetes & depression and helps you feel better overall. However before you start it is better to consult your doctor, a physical therapist, or other specially trained health professionals to teach the exercise program that is best for you. Unsupervised exercises (eg copying a television program or following an untrained advisor) can cause more harm than benefit.
Coping with stress
Modern life has become very pressurized and could precipitate various painful conditions like Fibromyalgia. It is normal to feel anxious, stressed, confused or even depressed at times but it is important to seek help if these feelings persist. Some simple lifestyle modifications could be very helpful like:
- Planning your day the night before
- Keeping yourself busy
- Spending time with kids
- Playing an outdoor game like soccer or regular gentle rhythmic exercises like swimming, cycling or walking.
Take a breath of new life- STOP SMOKING
Giving up smoking is the one of the most important steps you can take. It has been proven that smokers have a higher incidence of arthritis and various other pain syndromes apart from causing a variety of ailments.
Have a good laugh
Read a book of jokes, play with kids or watch a movie. Laughing can relax muscles, relieve pain and even boost your immune system.
Light up your day
Adequate exposure to sunlight is important for vitamin D synthesis which in turn plays many vital roles in our body, maintaining healthy bones being just one of them. In addition sunlight also influences the pineal melatonin system which plays an important role in maintaining good sleep cycle.
Get back in shape
Lose weight. You won’t just look better; you’ll feel better, too. Excess weight can mean more pain, no matter which form of pain syndrome you have. It can also contribute to and aggravate osteoarthritis, while increasing your risk of gout and a variety of other ailments.
Eat a healthy diet
Because there are more than 100 types of joint pain and related diseases, no single diet will help everyone. However, it is strongly recommend that a diet based on variety, balance and moderation. A balanced diet can help you feel better and stay healthy; prevent chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease; and be a positive step toward managing and preventing your pain.
- Eat a variety of foods, and avoid those that can interact with your medications.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Use fat and cholesterol in moderation.
- Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products.
- Use sugar and salt in moderation.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Take in the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, including calcium.
Remember we eat to live and don’t live to eat.
Dr. Parshant Aggarwal
MD (Medicine) DM (Clinical Immunology)
Rheumatologist & Immunologist
Punjab Rheumatology Clinic,
E mail: email@example.com