Dealing with lockdown-induced orthopedic problems

Knee.
If you experience swollen knees, then you can tie a cloth or crepe bandage around it. Photo: IANS
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New Delhi: The ongoing pan-India lockdown has not only flipped upside down our emotional well-being, but has also had an unforeseen impact on our physical one too, especially when it comes to mobility.

Life has changed, earlier people could go about their chores, head to work, make time for a little exercise, catch-up with their friends and peers; they are now unable to do so. This has tremendously limited physical movement and set in lethargy. Lack of physical movement has a direct influence on your muscle mass which impacts your metabolism significantly; reduced metabolism leads to increase in weight which further burdens our joints, says Dr. Kaushal Malhan, Director, Orthopedic Surgery and Joint Replacement Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

"Joint and muscle pain can also be experienced by doing chores or activities that you haven't frequently done before like sitting cross-legged on the floor, bending from the waist while cleaning or cooking, lifting heavy weights, etc. It has been observed that reduced physical movement has led to increase in pain in the waist and back, legs, knees and hips," underlines the expert.

Dr Malhan lists down a few things you can do at home to lessen the pain arising out of restricted physical activity and lethargy, and live comfortably:

Try to keep yourself active; moving is simply not enough; do some basic stretching. Ensure you work every muscle of the back and legs. This will make sure you stay active, and will benefit the whole body.

In case you are unable to perform any stretching exercise or experience discomfort, you may use a hot pack to soothe/relax the muscles that are often taut.

Those who are already experiencing joint pain will benefit from stretching and mobility of the body. One may use belts or other types of support. If you do not have a belt, you can use a cloth and tie it around the area where you experience pain.

Elderly family members can use external support such as sticks or a walker if they experience difficulty in walking.

Alternatively using hot and cold packs on the painful areas may also be beneficial.

If you experience swollen knees, then you can tie a cloth or crepe bandage around it. You may also use a kneecap for the same.

Pay close attention to your posture - Do not slump; while bending, avoid bending from the waist, make sure to gradually straighten from the knees.

It is also important to consume a wholesome diet which is beneficial to the muscles and improves bone health - include green vegetables like Broccoli, Spinach, Tomato, Bell Peppers which increase resistance to infection. Ginger, Turmeric, Amla and Garlic also help boost immunity.

Get as much rest as needed, do not over stress your body if you feel tired or experience some form of pain.

If the problem persists and you experience extreme pain or discomfort, please seek medical help urgently and do not waste time when it comes to tackling such problems.

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