Joint pains and stiffened muscles are the most common health problem during winters, which affects the lives of older people. As per the statistics, there is a 50 percent spike in the number of older people seeking treatment for both bone and joint problems during winter. For patients with bone-related conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, symptoms like pain, swelling, stiffness, fatigue, and others are harder to control during the winter. Some people feel increased joint pain, as the cold weather sets in.
But why does joint pain flair up during winters?
Here are a few reasons-
The pain receptors become more sensitive during the winters.
The drop in the atmospheric pressure causes painful joints, and when the pressure decreases, tissues swell, building tension between bones, causing pain.
There are more muscle spasms in colder temperatures that worsen the pain and stiffness of the joints.
The cold reduces the blood circulation to the fingers and toes, which amplifies arthritis pain.
Less sunlight during winters means lower vitamin D levels and leads to weakened bones and joints.
Here are a few tips that can help ease your pain and help perform daily activities efficiently-
Sweat it out curling up yourself during winters seems comforting, but this might lead to stiffness and aggravates the pain. Hence stay physically active by jogging or walking as it warms your body and keeps you energetic throughout the day. In case it is too cold, try indoor activities like yoga or pilates.
Stay warm- Try to keep yourself warm by using an electric heating pad, hot water bag, or an electric blanket resting or sleeping. Keep heating pads on localized areas where joints have become stiff and painful from the cold weather.
Cover yourself, head-to-toe with gloves, sweatshirts, caps, and scarves to keep yourself warm.
Take supplements– low levels of Vitamin D during winters might raise the risk of increased joint pains. So, take vitamin D as well as calcium supplements to keep your bones strong and pain-free. Talk to your doctor about the best supplements and the dosage.
Eat fish– Fishes like salmons and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the inflammation in the bones and ease the pain. Oily fish is a natural source of vitamin D3, which will help to maintain good bone health.
Choose your footwear wisely– There is an increased incidence of falls during winters, and fancy footwear might even increase the risk. So, opt for supportive flats, rubber-sole boots, or shoes and avoid high heels.
Stay hydrated– Dehydration decreases flexibility and increases the risk of injuries. So stay hydrated by drinking lots of water or other fluids.
Get a massage done– the muscle around the bone generally hurts when there is joint pain. So get a massage with warm oil, foam roller, or other methods to relieve pain.
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