Dr Ranj Singh has backed actor Adam Thomas after he revealed he had been diagnosed with the chronic condition ahead of his appearance on Strictly Come Dancing.
The Waterloo Road singer was unveiled earlier this week as one of the prominent faces who will be taking to the dancefloor on the forthcoming season of the BBC reality programme.
A few days later, the actor, 34, said that he’d been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after months of discomfort in his “knees, wrists, fingers, ankles, and toes.”
While he conceded that some days had been “better than others” and that “not being able to practise properly” had been difficult, he had signed up for Strictly to “move again, become healthy, and do it with a grin on my face.”
Now, one of the country’s most well-known medical specialists, who appeared on Strictly in 2018, has suggested that dancing would most certainly be extremely useful to Adam as he continues to manage his ailments.
Dr Singh said while physical activity may be difficult, it was still important.
‘Rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling, stiffness and pain in the joints which can make it difficult to do any kind of physical activity,’ he said.
‘[But] resting can help with things like pain.
‘However, keeping mobile can also help with some of these symptoms (for instance the stiffness is worse with inactivity), but he’ll have to find a balance between rest and training.’
He added: ‘I’m sure he’ll put his all into it though.’
When asked if he had any advice for Adam, the TV doctor advised him to remain on top of his medicine and to take care of his health in general, as well as to always ‘work within your capabilities.’
Although there is intense training when it comes to taking part of the series, Dr Singh said it shouldn’t stop Adam’s chances in the competition.
‘Strictly has had people of various abilities taking part and they have all done well,’ he said.
He added: ‘It’s about what you put into the dance, not just the result.’
Other health professionals agreed with his observations and suggestions.
According to Versus Arthritis’ senior clinical policy adviser and consultant rheumatologist Benjamin Ellis, Adam’s choice to continue with his preparations for Strictly would likely have good health consequences.
‘Keeping moving is great for the joints, whatever type of arthritis you have,’ he said.
‘The best thing is to pick something you enjoy and listen to your body to do the right amount that works for you, whether that’s walking, yoga, swimming… or dancing!
‘It’s wonderful that Adam is able to dance with his arthritis, and Versus Arthritis, along with hundreds of thousands of people in the UK with rheumatoid arthritis, will be cheering him on every (quick) step of the way!’
When publicly sharing his diagnosis, Adam said he always thought arthritis was ‘something people, later on in their life get’, but that he had proved it ‘clearly wasn’t the case’.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. The condition usually affects the hands, feet and wrists.
Sometimes symptoms can ‘flare up’ and become worse, which can be difficult to predict.
With treatment it’s possible to decrease how much this happens and minimise or prevent long-term damage to the joints.
Other more general symptoms include tiredness and weight loss.
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis early on is important, as early treatment can help reduce the risk of joint damage.
It is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system mistakenly attacks cells which line your joints, leading to pain, swelling and stiffness.
Over time it can affect not only joints and cartilage, but also bone.
While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, early diagnosis and treatments can allow sufferers months or even years between flare-ups.
Medicine, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy help keep people mobile, and surgery may be required to help any joint problems that may develop.
Depending on the severity of your arthritis, people may be forced to adapt how they do every day tasks.
Complications include the potential of rheumatoid arthritis to lead to other conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, inflammation of other parts of the body (eyes, lungs, heart), and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Ellis said that it was a common misconception that the condition only affected people later in life.
‘Rheumatoid arthritis affects people of all ages and happens when the immune system – the body’s natural defence system – goes out of balance and attacks the joints making them inflamed, swollen and painful,’ he explained.
‘Urgent and intensive treatments to rebalance the immune system improve symptoms and reduce the risk of long-term, disabling joint damage caused by this inflammation, but NHS delays mean that not everyone is getting the treatment they need, as quickly as they need it.’
His statements about the benefits of Adam taking to the dancefloor were also backed by Arthritis Action’s dietitian and strength and conditioning coach Martin Lau, who said the sport ‘improves fitness, muscle strength and flexibility’.
‘Participating in a programme such as Strictly requires building up the body’s capacity to handle the long hours of the dance sessions,’ he said.
‘Physical activities such as swimming, long walks and exercises like Pilates or resistance training to build up strength is crucial.’
He added: ‘If the feet, knees and the rest of the body have been overexerted from the dance practices, an ice bath could be helpful to assist in recovery, as well as dampening the inflammation.’
Going on to explain that ‘each person knows their limit’, Lau offered his own tips for Adam ahead the intense training schedule.
‘Breaking the full day’s dance practice with frequent breaks can help, and practising the art of visualisation during breaks may also help with consolidating a new dance move.’
Earlier this week, Adam stated that while he understood competing on Strictly would be “difficult,” and that he would have his “work cut out for him,” he was “ready for the challenge and cannot wait to get on that dance floor.”
Offering his support to those in similar situations, he advised them to “remain strong, get the correct help where and when you can,” and to “keep optimistic.”
Angela Rippon, Layton Williams, Bobby Brazier, Les Dennis, and Zara McDermott are among those confirmed to perform alongside Adam in the forthcoming series of the show.
For further support and information about arthritis, visit versusarthritis.org and arthritisaction.org.uk/
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC later this year.
Source My Celebrity Life.