A doctor can make the life healthy, painless and happy or mar and condemn the life to painful early end. - Dr. Balwant Singh
I have to admit and feel sorry for majority of the colleagues in orthopedic surgery in India that they don’t realize the few words of wrong advice can do so much damage to the patients and their families. These friends of mine say to people with joint diseases that they should restrict their movements, should not do any exercise and should not sit on floor or squat.
Why is this happening so regularly? The basic cause is lack of time to update their old concept about osteoarthritis. The researchers had done a wonderful favor for so many suffering people and indeed a great contribution for so common world wide disease. The exact cause of this disease is not known. No body can predict or avoid the disease and many had to suffer from this incurable disease.
Now the real point is should we restrict the movements and exercises of these patients!
Can this peace of advice help any one? The researchers in Australia and California had found that walking and exercises help in regeneration of damaged cartilage and pain is relieved permanently to a large extent without the help of any medicine. [The reader’s are advised to go through the article of Reader’s Digest India , August 2008 issue – pounding the pavements-page 64] There are deleterious effects of not doing any exercise and walking,ie, further damage to the bones, cartilage, muscles, rise of blood pressure, rise of blood sugar – an open invitation to heart attack, brain stroke, eye damage and kidney damage and added micro and macro vascular complications associated with diabetes mellitus. And the increased use of pain killers has serious side effects of kidney damage and gastric ulceration.
The implications of wrong advice can be imagined and the extent of damage the simple few words can make. Yes, it is criminal negligence. I am a medical practioner and I meet many patients where the doctors had restricted movements of the patients.
Similar to this advice is another when people get fracture of a limb, what the doctors tell the patients is not move the limb or put weight on the limb even when the joint is immobilized in a cast. Where as the fractured fragments unite earlier if these are fixed and put in a cast and patients keep moving the limbs. I have followed this advice and found for myself that people do better who keep moving the limbs.
I must add here that I had been practicing this formula of exercises and walking for so many patients who had these problems and were advised to sit in a chair, or wear cervical collar or spinal supports. I had requested all these patients to remove the supports and do exercises and walking. I must place it on record that all were substantially better without the use of any pain killers. The patients feel physically and socially active and don’t feel isolated and are visiting their friends and families, when I asked them if they felt worse with that mode of treatment and all of them admitted that they felt a lot better than earlier when they did not move and were taking regular medicines.
At my end I have started a campaign to educate the people in public places about the authenticated findings of wonderful benefits of walking and doing exercises for all joint diseases. The process of damage is the same and there is a common cause of osteoarthritis among majority of the patients who suffer from cervical spondylitis, prolapse intervertebral disc and narrowed intervertebral spaces of the spine, osteoporosis of the bones, reduced joint spaces of knee joints due to erosion of cartilage or frozen shoulder and even rheumatoid arthritis. Regular walking and exercises can reduce the further damage to the joints and is sure to strengthen the bones, cartilages, muscles and ligaments supporting the joints and may be improving the quality of nourishing fluid in joints- the synovial fluid.
Be happy, walk, exercise and must pray to the Lord God who has given such a costly body structure with a wonderful ability to re grow the damaged tissues. God bless you all.