Kalpana Shinde (58), Andheri (Mumbai) resident, is suffering from knee pain since a year-and-half. Even after medication for over a year, she has found no relief from her pain.
“I often get knee pain when I stand or walk for a longer period of time. I own a small shop so I have to stand. But I ensure that I don’t stretch myself at work to avoid the pain,” said Shinde, who runs a grocery shop.
Knee pain is not just common among elderly women, but even young women are complaining about it.
“I am a housewife and I am 35-year-old, but I suffer from knee pain most of the time,” said Anju Mehta, another Andheri resident.
Dr Pradeep Bhosale, Director of Arthritis and Joint Replacement at Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, “Knee pain is extremely common in young and elder age group, osteoporosis (a condition in which bones become weak and brittle) is most common in both groups.”
Explaining further he said, “In addition, young group have softening of cartilage of knee cap due to poor activity and lack of exercises. Elderly women are prone to higher incidence of knee osteoarthritis and rhumatoid arthritis (a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet), than male counterpart.”
Doctors say lack of proper diet and vitamin deficiency and other problem among younger women when they reach 30 years is also reported. Women are genetically inclined to joints’ pain and arthritis in comparison to their male counterparts, but it has increased now due to sedentary lifestyle.
There is often confusion between osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Lack of calcium and vitamin D3 in the bones, causing weakening of the bones, leading to easy fractures is osteoporosis. Degeneration in between the bones due to loss of cartilage is osteoarthritis.
Bhosale gets 15 such patients every day in his clinic.
“Most of them can be prevented with physio non analgesic medications activity moderations. They must exercise every day in moderation weight control and follow healthy diet.”
Age-related degeneration of the knee joint causing pain, swelling, discomfort and limitation of movements is osteoarthritis. In India, Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis, affecting over 15 million adults every year, with over 60 million cases likely by 2025.
Disease progression of osteoarthritis usually slow but can ultimately lead to joint failure with pain. More than 80 per cent of people suffering from osteoarthritis report difficulties with daily activities, regardless of the main site of the osteoarthritis.
“I see at least 20 women with knee pains every week. Being overweight is the most common reason. Some women who over-exercise also come with knee injuries,” said Dr Dilip Nadkarni, Orthopaedic Surgeon.
The common reasons responsible for knee pain is nutrient deficiency, inappropriate intake of nutrition and minerals, lack of exercise, sitting in cross-legged or squat position, which leads to arthritis problem.
He advised, “Good exercises like cycling, stretches and strengthening workouts help. Regular intake of calcium supplements and calcium rich foods like green leaves vegetables, eggs, and fish and milk products.”