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1.5 million Nigerians suffer from arthritis annually

The Nigerian Orthopaedic Association has disclosed that more than 1.5 million Nigerians suffer from arthritis annually, which is a leading cause of disability, with both physical and emotional impacts.

The association, however, advised the general public to indulge in lifestyle changes such as weight regulation, initiating weight loss in the overweight or obese, regular exercise for weight therapy, and improved motion of the joints.

This was contained in a statement issued by Kunle Olawepo, the President, Nigerian Orthopaedic Association in commemoration of World Arthritis Day, 2020.

“About 350 million suffered from Arthritis globally, while more than 1.5 million people present for treatment in Nigeria annually owing to this condition.

“This observance calls global attention to a complex, multifaceted disease that evidence shows is a leading cause of disability worldwide, with both physical and emotional impacts,” he said.

The expert explained that people of all ages, sexes, and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in human joints.

Describing arthritis as a group of disorders affecting the joints comprising more than 100 clinical conditions arising from degenerative, inflammatory, infective, metabolic or autoimmune causes, he says these include, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gouty arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Vertebral spondylosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and Psoriatic Arthritis among others.

Olawepo stated that common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness (especially morning stiffness) and decreased range of motion, adding that risk factors to developing arthritis are family history and predisposition, age, previous injury to the joint, and obesity.

“Arthritis is a global phenomenon with debilitating complications, prevention is the watchword.

“There should be a provision for adequate Health insurance to ameliorate the cost of expensive investigations, and treatment including medications and interventions even joint repair, joint fusion, and joint replacement surgeries.

“Lifestyle modification on the part of individuals and Government’s support by providing medical aid towards its treatment shall go a long way in the proper management of this condition whenever it arises even as we commemorate the 2020 World Arthritis Day,” he said.

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