The pandemic has undoubtedly put a lot of pressure on the existing health care system. The world is now stretching out resources to its maximum potential, which is why staying healthy wherever one maybe is crucial.
While there are many tips available on the internet that deal with health during COVID times, bone health is a less popular topic.
A person’s bone health, like any other part of their body, is equally imperative. It plays a significant role in keeping a person fit during these challenging times.
COVID 19 is a recently discovered infectious disease caused by the coronavirus. The outbreak of this virus was first experienced in Wuhan, China. However, it was not limited to China and soon started spreading all over the world.
India is one of the worst affected countries hit by COVID. Therefore, the government organized a nationwide lockdown. While things have started reopening, people are still advised not to step out of the house without reason.
To understand the plight of COVID, one needs to understand the connection between lockdown and bone health.
These are some ways COVID is affecting the bone health of many people:
Regular sun exposure is the best way to get a daily dose of Vitamin D. However, due to the lockdown restrictions caused by COVID, people have ceased to go outdoors.
An average adult needs to step out in the mid-day sun for at least 20-30 to hit their daily quota of the sun. Deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to several health problems. The primary purpose of Vitamin D is to absorb calcium, which is essential to maintain bone density.
Lack of Vitamin D can affect a person’s bone density and contribute to problems like osteoporosis and fractures.
Ever since the outbreak of novel coronavirus, most people (especially older people or people with underlying health conditions) have been advised not to step outside. It has not only affected their daily lives but in a certain way has also jeopardized their daily intake of Vitamin D.
With everyone locked up inside their shells, people have let go of their habit of taking a balanced diet. Some people are gaining weight due to lack of physical activity, and some people are losing weight because of eating less.
Weight loss is related to deteriorating bone density, and weight gain contributes to excessive pressure on the bone, affecting bone strength.
A person’s body weight is directly related to their bone mineral density. A rapid increase or decrease in weight is directly related to one’s bone health. It may make a person more prone to problems like osteoporosis.
During the lockdown, screen time has increased drastically due to the sudden switch to work and education from home.
Children attend their schools and other institutions via online mode. They also cannot step outside to get enough physical exercise and sunlight, causing a deficiency in Vitamin D. Lack of Vitamin D increases the chances of rickets, which is a bone-related issue where the bones turn soft.
Adults, on the other hand, are not able to step outside. They are spending excessive time before the television and laptop screen, which is hindering their bone health.
The fact that COVID has restricted all forms of physical activities harms people with underlying bone issues. It was noticed that people who had bone problems like osteoarthritis have recently observed more issues and pain during this time.
The simple reason behind this is the lack of physical activities and restricted movements.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes extreme musculoskeletal pain along with symptoms like sleep deprivation, fatigue, memory loss, and mood swings.
While COVID might have been like a vacation, many are people observing an increase in stress during these times. Financial anxiety, physical stress, or emotional stress can work as a trigger and increase fibromyalgia.
People suffering from issues like osteoporosis may be at a higher risk of contracting COVID. However, no studies have so far shown any permanent damage to the bones due to COVID. Studies are being conducted all over the world to learn how COVID may be affecting bone health.
These are some tips a person can use to maintain their bone health during COVID:
Taking a balanced diet and keep a regular check on weight. It ensures that one is neither drastically losing weight nor gaining. This is the best solution to prevent obesity or weakness that can directly hinder bone health.
Aerobics and yoga are two of the best indoor forms of physical activity that can keep a person’s mind and body healthy. The primary purpose behind increasing physical activities is to prevent bones from getting stiff and boost bone strength. People with already existing bone problems can opt for specific yoga poses that are helpful.
Parents must make sure their children are doing enough physical activities. The parents need to ensure that they indulge their children in home-based hobbies like dancing, karate, etc.
The main idea behind these measures is to stay fit. A fit person is less likely to fall ill and more likely to fight any problems that enter his/her body.
These days patients with various bone conditions are wondering if they should go for treatment. Even though the times are tough, some conditions require immediate treatment, and some that can wait. These include:
By the time people decide about getting a joint replacement, their pain has increased drastically. Moreover, it has started affecting all the aspects of their life. It is why a joint replacement cannot be delayed during COVID.
Joint replacement can be a permanent solution to bone-related problems. Therefore, one should not think twice before getting it done. By choosing a good orthopedist who follows all the safety protocols in their hospital, a person can ensure safety during the treatment.
Parents should not delay orthopaedic treatment in children like deformity correction of both types acute and gradual. These surgeries can take some time and are rather crucial for the child and his/her bones.
Therefore, putting it in a back seat might not be the best idea. Parents can get in touch with a paediatric orthopaedic and ensure that their clinic is following all COVID safety protocols.
One should see their orthopedic doctor for joint pain as soon as they see their existing symptoms getting worse and frequent. They must not rely on self-care measures for more than two days in a row. If a person sees no improvement even after self-care measures, they must immediately get in touch with their doctor.