There is nothing better than ‘Suryanamaskarams' and a regular exercise in the form of walking for maintaining healthy bones and joints, says orthopaedic surgeon and knee replacement expert M.J. Naidu.

Addressing members of the Andhra Loyola College Walkers' Association in a programme held jointly by the M.V.S. Accident Hospital and The Hindu to observe the “Bone and Joint Day” on Friday, Dr. Naidu said that the best way to keep muscles healthy was to keep them in use and keep stretching them by doing yoga or other such stretching exercises. While there were different exercises for the maintenance of individual joints and muscles, yoga in general and ‘Suryanamsakarams' in particular were good for the healthy maintenance of all the important joints of the body.

Dr. Naidu said while cycling, swimming and walking were recommended as ideal forms of exercise, walking was better than the other two for the maintenance of strong bones and joints.

It was wrong to say that walking damage the knee joints in general. This was true only in the case of people who weigh more than 85 kg. For those who weigh less than 85 kg, walking was a very good form of exercise. It would strengthen the knee muscles and the cartilage that provide cushioning. But for people who weigh more than 85 kg, cycling and swimming were recommended forms of exercise.

The orthopaedic surgeon said that increase in pain at a joint was an indication of some form of damage to muscles or bones. “While doing Suryanamaskarams, care should be taken to bend and stretch only to the extent the body permits. Gradually the muscles will become more flexible,” he said.

In a lively interaction with the walkers, Dr. Naidu explained about the overall benefits of walking. He said that regular walkers were “ten years younger” in their agility and health when compared to those who do not walk. “Walking is also a great stress reliever when it is done outdoors,” he said, and advised against walking on hard surface like tar roads and cement concrete. The footwear used for walking should be soft and comfortable.

One of the treatments for knee pain was the injection of a lubricant into the joints. But there was a great deal of variation in the outcome of this treatment. While some benefited for just six months, others experienced the benefit for years, Dr. Naidu said.

Explaining about the prevalence of arthritis, he said there were tremendous advances in orthopaedic surgery. “Key-hole” surgery was least interventional with patients recovering within days. Similarly there were several advances in knee-joint replacement technology. The new navigation systems available have reduced the failure rate. With new materials it was possible for the new knee-joint to function without a flaw for up to 15 years, he said.

Regional General Manager of The Hindu K. Chandrasekaran welcomed the gathering. Dr. Naidu felicitated ALC Walkers' Association president Chigurupalli Nagabhushanam, vice-presidents Raavi Krishna Rao, Narra Venkata Pitcheswara Rao and secretary Remalle Nanaiah.

Keywords: Health advice


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