Every year, first week of August is observed as the bone and joint week. The country observes National Bone and Joint day on the 4th of August. With the ever increasing incidences of road accidents and bone and joint problems in the ageing population, in 2012 the Indian Orthopaedic Association and the Government of India jointly agreed upon the celebration of this day to focus on alleviation of crippling ageing arthritis, bone weakness or Osteoporosis and sequela of road traffic accidents.
Low back pain, knee pain and bone pain in the ageing population needs attention as the average life expectancy is increasing and more than 2 million such fresh cases are added each year. After the age of 50 years, it is very important for us to maintain good bone health so that old age related bone issues are avoided. As age advances bone loss occurs which need to be prevented to maintain a healthy bone.
First and foremost solution is performing daily exercises which include brisk walking and stretching of joints. Also, low weight resistance exercises will help in increasing the bone strength along with the muscles. Underweight and overweight impair the bone quality and increases the risk of fractures with minimal trauma. Repeated episodes of losing or gaining weight are also detrimental for healthy bone. Maintaining a stable healthy weight can help support bone health.
Next, taking a proper diet is important for healthy bone. Diet should include lots of vegetables which are best for bones. Vegetables are good source of vitamin C which stimulates bone formation and decrease bone damage. Diet should include enough protein as 50% of bone is protein which is the main structural layout of the bone. Low protein intake can lead to bone loss.
Calcium is most important mineral in the protein structure of the bone. Recommended daily dose of elemental calcium is 1000 to 1200 mg which is essential for normal healthy bone. Ageing along with decreased intake of calcium leads to calcium deficiency. Calcium absorption is not adequate in normal diet due to different factors for which it needs to be supplemented either in diet or medicine. Spreading the calcium intake throughout the day increases the chances of absorption. Vitamins like Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 are essential for bone health. Vitamin D helps in calcium absorption while vitamin K2 prevents bone loss by binding minerals in bone. Vitamin D is available when sunlight falls on the skin and K2 from liver, eggs, meat along with cheese and soya. Intake of collagen supplement, diet rich in magnesium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids help in bone formation and decrease bone loss.
We should pledge to improve our own bone health and work for the quality healthy bone life for our ageing population by spreading awareness through different platforms on this occasion which will help the society decrease its burden.
By Dr Debabrata Padhy
(Dr Debabrata Padhy (MS) is a senior consultant (Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement) associated with a top pvt hospital; advisor and co-ordinator, Dept. of Orthopaedics, Associate Professor, AHERF, and also the Founder Secretary of Odisha Arthroplasty Association. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)