Effective Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain In WinterDur - E - Sameen
Winters are unique they bring the joy of celebrations, new beginnings, the warmth of comfy blankets, hot chocolate, and many seasonal and dry fruits. However, they are different for everyone. We all know that cold weather can intensify any pain. Especially if you are an arthritis patient with either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, Winter does not sound any more fun as they exacerbate your pain. The good news is that there are specific steps that you can follow to tackle this pain effectively. In this post, we have discussed some Effective Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain In Winter so that you can enjoy this beautiful season to the fullest.
What is Arthritis, And Why does it Get Worse in the Winter?
Arthritis is an umbrella term used for different conditions that affect the joints of our body. They result in inflammation, swelling, and stiffness of the joints. It becomes the cause of pain, discomfort, and difficulty in the movement of joints and starts to disturb the regular activities of life. The most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout.
It is observed that arthritis pain usually gets worse in the Winter. The Arthritis Foundation also affirmed that cold temperatures could increase the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis, as proven by different studies. However, the exact scientific reason is still not fully known, but some possible explanations that can lead to the severity of this condition in Winter are
- Cold temperatures decrease the blood flow to the extremities, intensifying joint pain.
- The lower atmospheric pressure in Winter causes our soft tissue to expand and put extra strain on our joints, resulting in aching joints.
- It is also suggested that the thickness of synovial fluid increases in the Winter, which results in less lubrication of the joints and causes more stiffness and pain.
- In Winter, the vitamin D level in our bodies drops because of less exposure to sunlight, which results in weakened bones and joints.
How to Manage Arthritis Pain This Winter?
Many medications are available to manage the symptoms and pain associated with arthritis. However, other than medication, here are a few suggestions that can help you get some relief from the radiating arthritis pain despite the Winter’s chill.
Here are the some Effective Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain In Winter
Keep Yourself Warm.
Though it sounds pronounced, keeping yourself warm in the chilling Winter is the most fundamental way to prevent the discomfort caused by arthritis pain.
Our body responds to cold temperatures by undergoing vasoconstriction, which restricts blood flow to the extremities. It redirects the blood flow to the body’s internal organs to maintain its core temperature. The restricted blood flow to the joints becomes the reason for pain and aches.
By keeping our bodies warm, we can increase the blood flow to the joints, which relaxes the muscles and ultimately helps reduce the pain and discomfort of the joints. Warmth also decreases pain perception by triggering pain receptors in the skin and helps remove the pain-producing chemicals in the body.
So try to keep your body warm by wearing warmer clothes or bundling up in different layers of clothes to retain the body’s heat. You can also use a heating pad for aching joints, soak them in a hot bath, or enjoy swimming in a heated pool. All of this helps your joints stay warm and pain-free this Winter.
Choose Your Diet Wisely
There is no doubt that a balanced or nutritious diet is the secret to remaining fit and healthy. Wise food choices help your body fight different ailments, including arthritis pain. To manage your arthritis pain this Winter, try to add these foods to your diet.
- Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as some fish, nuts, chia seeds, cod liver oil, soybeans, etc., as they have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and spinach. They are rich in vitamin K, which is good for your bone health.
- Vitamin C-enriched foods such as oranges, tomatoes, and lemons are also good for arthritis, as vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps reduce arthritis inflammation.
- Foods that contain vitamin D, such as fish, mushrooms, yogurt, and egg yolks. As vitamin D is essential for our bones and joints’ health. It is also believed to be important in controlling autoimmune reactions in our bodies. In Winter, it gets difficult to obtain the desired vitamin D only through sunlight, and we have to rely on dietary sources for its intake.
- Also, try to avoid foods that can exaggerate the inflammation and worsen the symptoms of arthritis, such as sweets and salty foods, carbohydrates, processed foods, alcohol, red meat, and saturated fats.
Keep Yourself Hydrated.
Another thing that you have to take care of this Winter is keeping yourself hydrated to manage your arthritis pain. Hydration is suitable for your joints, as it is estimated that your joint cartilage, whose function is to reduce friction, comprises 60–80% water. Lower water content reduces its ability to work as a wear-resistant tissue. Proper hydration also helps produce synovial fluid, which is a thick fluid between the joints to lubricate the cartilage while cushioning the joints. Hydration also helps flush out toxins, which helps reduce inflammation in the body. Drinking enough water is also helpful in weight reduction, which is also good for your arthritis pain.
Keep Yourself Fit.
Winter is usually associated with weight gain. Many people gain weight during the Winter for various reasons, including the intake of high-calorie food to keep themselves warm and the lack of motivation to move and exercise in the chilling weather. This weight gain can badly impact your arthritis, as these additional pounds can put further pressure on your joints. So try to avoid gaining any extra weight and keep fit this Winter to manage your arthritis pain effectively.
Keep Yourself Active.
It is observed that during the Winter, people’s physical activity decreases compared to the hotter months. It is unsuitable for your overall health, especially if you are an arthritis patient. It is essential to remain physically active even in the Winter, as exercise increases your strength and boosts the flexibility of your joints. Plus, exercise keeps your body warm and your weight under control, which is also good for your arthritis pain. So if you want to keep your arthritis pain away this Winter, give your muscles a little stretch and follow an active lifestyle.
Give Yourself a Massage.
Another good way to alleviate arthritis pain is to massage your aching joints. Low temperatures can make your joints stiff and painful. Massage helps to loosen and relax your muscles and joints. It increases blood circulation to the joints, which helps decrease fatigue, and helps in the lubrication of the joints by stimulating the body’s lubricants. You can perform a simple massage by yourself at home, or you can also utilize the expertise of some professional massage therapists.
Winter can be more challenging for people who have arthritis. However, by taking certain precautions and following a healthy lifestyle, you can keep your arthritis pain at bay when the temperature drops and enjoy this beautiful season with all your heart without any suffering. If you suffer from extreme pain and joint discomfort even after taking all the preventive measures, you should consult your physician.
The fastest way to relieve arthritis pain is the application of either heat or ice therapy to the aching joints.
Yes, it is observed by different studies that the intensity of arthritis pain increases in winter.
Stress can flare up your arthritis as it stimulates the production of chemicals that triggers inflammation and pain.
Yes, very hot and humid weather can also worsen the symptoms and pain associated with arthritis.
How to Reduce Winter Arthritis Pain and Inflammation – IBJ
Arthritis pain: Do’s and don’ts – MayoClinic
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