World Arthritis Day: Does smoking lead to disease - Here's what expert has to say
The indirect effect of smoking is that it reduces blood flow to the joint and cartilage and increases the tendency to cause fractures.
Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The main symptoms of the disease are joint pain and stiffness. The worst thing about arthritis is that it typically worsens with age. While there are several types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are among the most common types.
Recently, there has been an increase in the incidences of arthritic symptoms in patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
According to Dr Kaushal Kant Mishra – Director, Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement, Fortis Escorts, New Delhi - this may be related to the decreased physical and outdoor activities.
Does smoking lead to arthritis?
Smoking can both, directly and indirectly, lead to arthritis. There are studies to prove that a special type of arthritis known as rheumatoid arthritis - a kind of inflammatory arthritis - gets really aggravated. According to Dr Prof. Puneet Mishra – Additional Director & Unit Head, Orthopaedics, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, smoking leads to the indirect production of cytokines which are mediators of inflammation.
"When someone smoke, there is a lot of inflammation that goes into the body as smoking leads to the indirect production of cytokines which are mediators of inflammation. These cytokines attack the joints, capsules, and cartilage thereby increasing the inflammation," Mishra added.
The indirect effect of smoking is that it reduces blood flow to the joint and cartilage and increases the tendency to cause fractures. It also reduces bone density, which is known as osteoporosis.
Treatment of arthritis
Treatment varies according to the type of arthritis. The main goals of arthritis treatments are to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
Depending on your symptoms and disability status your Doctor may prescribe medicines to control pain and if symptoms are more pressing then intraarticular injections and visco-supplements can be offered.
It is very important to follow your doctor’s advice since ignoring your symptoms can reduce your activity level and precipitate other systemic issues including osteoporosis and related fractures which would further cripple your existing health. If all the conservative measures fail then surgical treatment is the option. Total joint replacement is the most commonly offered surgery for arthritis and contrary to the common belief in our country is one of the most successful surgeries in Orthopedic practice.
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