“For overall joint health, it is important to keep all its components as healthy as possible.”
All those living with arthritis of the joints would have felt the pain increase as the temperatures drop. Arthritic joints become more irritable, rigid and painful in winters than in summers. Our joints are a complex structure of bones joined together, with cartilage acting as a cushion between the edges, ligaments connecting the bones and muscles supporting the entire structure. For overall joint health, it is important to keep all its components as healthy as possible. With age-related breakdown of the cartilage, it is all the more important to take care of the joints during winters.
Reasons For Intensified Pain
- Blood circulation to the joints is reduced in winter as the body pumps warm blood to the heart. This makes the joints more painful and stiff.
- Our threshold for pain decreases in winters as our nerve endings become more sensitive in colder temperatures. This is why even a minor injury causes intense pain.
- Activity levels go down drastically in winters as most elderly people prefer to stay indoors, leading to stiff joints.
Due to these factors, arthritic and inflammatory conditions can aggravate joint pain in winters. Extra measures should be taken to loosen your joints, strengthen your muscles, increase blood circulation and keep the joints hydrated for a smooth winter. If you are experiencing severe joint pain, get a check-up done at the nearest Apollo Clinic and get the right advice from our experienced team of doctors.
Here are six tips you should follow before winter sets in:
- Exercise regularly – Exercising helps increase blood circulation and enables warm blood to reach all parts of the body, including joints. As much as you need to increase physical activity in winters, you tend to become more sedentary as the cold keeps you from venturing out. Don’t give up exercising in winters as regular exercise is important to keep the muscles strong and healthy.
- Balanced diet –The importance of balanced diet cannot be underestimated. Eat a well-balanced diet comprising fruits, vegetables, pulses, cereals and dairy products. This is vital to ensure the overall health and well-being of the entire body, joints and muscles. Patients experiencing knee pain also need a good dose of vitamins like vitamin D, C and K to keep the bones and cartilage well nourished. A deficiency of vitamins can manifest itself in the form of joint pain and even inflammation.
- Drink water – Often, we underestimate the importance of water in maintaining joint health. The cartilage, a semi-soft tissue between the joints, has to be hydrated and full of fluid.
- Opt for knee supports –Knee supports help hold the weak joint. Meet an orthopaedic specialist who can recommend good knee braces that can be worn to provide more support and stability.
- Physiotherapy helps – Physiotherapy is usually recommended for patients of osteoarthritis as it helps keep the muscles and leg nerves strong and the joints flexible. In winters, when joint stiffness increases, physiotherapy and gentle application of heat ensure greater mobility and lesser pain.