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As the temperature drops down, it becomes necessary to protect your body from various health issues, most importantly from arthritic joint pain which is a common complaint among elderly or those living with orthopaedic issues during winters. Stiff muscles, joint pain, and aching bones often feel worse in cold weather and there are many possible reasons behind them.
HOW DOES THE COLD EFFECT ARTHRITIS?
At lower temperatures, the body tends to circulate less blood to the peripheral areas in order to conserve warm blood around the heart. This leads the joints to stiffen and the skin to get cold which results in the pain sensors to start working at a faster pace.
Some researchers suggest, in the cold, arthritic joints can become stiff because the joint fluid isn’t moving as freely as it is supposed to. Others opine that cooler weather, air pressure tends to be lower, which can cause tissues around the joints to expand, putting pressure on them which causes pain or stiffness.
It is also possible that the cold can cause tissue to contract, pulling the joints and further intensifying the pain. Another reason could be, that people tend to feel lazy and lethargic to indulge themselves in any kind of physical activity when it is cold outside and this too results in the stiffening of joints which triggers pain.
DEALING WITH THE PAIN
There are many things you can do to prevent pain and discomfort from settling in your joints during the winters. For some, prescription medication can help ease their symptoms, but others are reluctant to take it. The good news is there are some natural alternatives for you that can help relieve the pain and symptoms of arthritis during winters-
Drink plenty of water. If you suffer from arthritis, gout or joint pain from other orthopedic conditions, drinking more water can help your condition for a number of reasons like:
People who suffer from gout pain should drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day as kidneys need water to help flush out the uric acid. It is important to remember in this matter, your regular coffee, tea or alcoholic beverages does not count as a means of staying hydrated. You can also stay hydrated with fresh fruit juices to ensure toxins are flushed out.
Light exercises can help ease arthritic pain. Exercising regularly helps remove stiffness of the joints affected. Exercise helps improve muscle strength of the connective tissues and reduces strength on the joint during activity. Make sure to use a supportive aid to prevent injury or sudden jerks. On cooler days try to exercise indoors. You could also work with your orthopaedic doctor or physiotherapist to find the right exercise routine for you. Few exercises that can help ease arthritis pain and stiffness are -
What you eat is important to keep joint painIncorporate and inflammation at bay. Cook with extra virgin olive oil as it contains oleocanthal that blocks secretion of inflammation-causing enzymes. It has been suggested that antioxidants (abundantly present in green leafy veggies) may help to protect the joints by mopping up some of the chemicals that cause inflammation. Stay away from fried foods as they tend to increase your body weight.
Try consuming the following for a wholesome management of pain and inflammation of joints during winter:
Cold water fishes like tuna, salmon, trout, and mackerel as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a promising anti-inflammatory compound.
Include eggs, cereals, yogurt, and low-fat milk in your diet as these foods are rich in Vitamin D and calcium that helps improve bone health especially if you suffer from rheumatic osteoporosis.
Consume Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables like oranges, guava, tomato, and red bell peppers as they help prevent cartilage loss.
Fiber-rich foods like whole grains, oats, and brown rice help reduce levels of C reactive proteins which act as inflammation indicator.
Dress in multiple comfortable layers that can keep you warm. Loose layers trap body heat and keep joints warm. In general, start with a thin synthetic layer (not cotton), add a layer of fleece, and top with a breathable outer layer. Keep a hat, scarf, and gloves close by to shield yourself from the cold. But be careful not to overdress yourself.
Go out when it is warmer during the day and loosen up with light movement. Sunlight also provides a natural source of Vitamin D which plays an important role in the production of cartilage and helps the body to absorb calcium, thereby strengthening the bones.
Seniors with arthritis report warming up joints often translates to lower levels of pain. In addition to using a heating pad, a hot bath or shower might reduce symptoms. Swimming in a heated pool is both great exercise and soothing to joints.
Additionally, Essential oils, are of great help when it comes to warming up your joints. Essential oils like Black pepper oil, Ginger oil, Juniperberry oil, Rosemary oil & Eucalyptus oil are warm and stimulating that makes them extremely effective at easing those every-day aches and pains that feel much worse in the winter months. You can also add these oils to a warm bath which is an amazing way to get warmed up. Massage 2-3 drops of any of the above mentioned essential oil (along with a carrier oil) around the joints where you are experiencing discomfort to get rid of tension, reduce inflammation and to reinvigorate your body.
Here at Hey Zindagi, we provide you with a wide range of arthritis-friendly products that can help you to deal with arthritic pain in winter:
Offers comfortable warmth and heat therapy to an arthritic joint pain via an adjustable thermostat.
Provides pain relief via hot/cold compression to an inflamed area allowing free movement during daily activities.
Provides heat plus vibrating therapy for pain relief from arthritis during the winters.
Enables full body massage via near infrared therapy for enhanced relief from chronic pain and inflammation due to arthritis or frozen joints.
Offers continued pain relief with essential heat therapy and ensures a comfortable sleep
Combines Cypress oil, Peppermint oil & Black Pepper oil to offer relief from pain, inflammation, and discomfort in joints affected by osteoarthritis
We know arthritis can have a severe impact on the daily lives of those who suffer from it, and the symptoms often get worse as the temperature drops. Hence we suggest you take simple steps by going for the natural alternatives to control your joint pain so that you remain active throughout the colder months. Do you have any thoughts that could contribute? Do share them in the comments section below.
By Sayani Chatterjee
Guest Author and Student of Biotechnology
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