Doctors emphasized that hormonal changes, especially during and after pregnancy, obesity, and an unhealthy lifestyle are the primary factors driving the rise in degenerative bone diseases among young women. On National Bone and Joint Day in India, observed on August 4, efforts are made to raise awareness about bone and joint health to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
Degenerative joint and bone disease, known as osteoarthritis, results from the gradual wear and tear of joints. Women are particularly susceptible due to the hormone elastane, which increases tendon and ligament elasticity, making them more prone to injuries and degenerative conditions.
Even though degenerative diseases are more common in older populations, young females can suffer from knee pains due to imbalances in muscle pull causing the knee cap to rub against the bone below.
Obesity is another significant cause of osteoarthritis in women, as excess weight exerts more pressure on joints, leading to damage and wear.
Postpartum women often experience osteoporosis or osteopenia due to hormonal changes, nutritional factors, and lifestyle changes during and after pregnancy. Alterations in hormones like estrogen and progesterone can impact bone resorption, leading to decreased bone density after childbirth.
Breastfeeding, while beneficial in many ways, can also contribute to reduced bone density. Doctors recommend increasing dietary calcium intake and engaging in physical activities like walking, tai chi, dancing, and weight training to improve bone health.
Additionally, avoiding smoking and excessive caffeine intake is crucial, as they are associated with osteoporosis. Managing stress and consulting an orthopaedic specialist for prolonged orthopaedic conditions are also vital steps in maintaining bone health.