Arthritis, which is a term for joint inflammation or joint disease, is one of the most common health problems in the US. It affects millions of people across the planet and is highly prevalent among older adults.
Arthritis has more than 100 forms, and it is unquestionably one of the most common sources of pain among Americans.
According to NCBI “Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting approximately 27 million adults overall and 12 million (34%) adults aged 65 years and older.”
Common forms of arthritis include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Psoriatic arthritis
Apart from that fibromyalgia is another crucial form of arthritis, that affects a wide range of people worldwide. The pain that stems from arthritis can range from mild to severe depending on the level of joint inflammation.
Arthritis can affect any joint in your body such as shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle, etc. People with this problem can experience pain in multiple joints in their body, which can play a vital role in reducing their mobility. Arthritis patients find it difficult to perform daily activities with ease.
Although it can affect people all year round, its signs and symptoms start worsening in the winter season. Arthritis patients claim that they find it utterly difficult to manage the joint pain in cold weather.
According to a study, which was conducted on osteoarthritis patients to find out the impact of cold weather on their pain, “Of the 712 people who answered the survey, 469 (67%) said they were weather sensitive.
It indicates that cold weather can worsen the pain that stems from arthritis, thereby creating more problems for patients struggling with this problem.
Over the years several studies have been conducted to find out the impact of cold weather on arthritis patients, but there is no evidence explaining why that happens.
Some people believe that it can be because of the change in barometric pressure, while others blame inactivity for it. Since arthritis patients find it hard to stick to their exercise routine in winters due to cold weather, inactivity can be one of the reasons for increasing pain.
So, if you are struggling with arthritis, here are some crucial tips for managing your symptoms especially the pain in cold weather.
Wear Warm Clothes
The first and most important tips for preventing your arthritis symptoms from worsening in cold weather is to cover your body with warm clothes. For example, if you are experiencing the pain in your fingers, and wrist, then you should use the best winter gloves to protect your fingers from bone-chilling cold.
Similarly, if you are experiencing severe pain in your knee or shoulder, you should use warm trousers and quality jackets respectively to protect your joints.
In short, you should avoid exposing your body parts during the winter season to minimize arthritis pain.
Reduce Your Weight
Overweight people find it more challenging to manage their arthritis pain when compared to those with a healthy weight. And that’s because excessive weight puts more pressure on their weight-bearing joints which leads to pain and discomfort.
Therefore, if you want to prevent arthritis pain from worsening in winter, make sure that you lose some weight.
People with obesity also remain at a higher risk of several other health conditions such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes, and kidney disease, etc.
Therefore, you must show that much-needed commitment towards weight loss, otherwise; you won’t be able to achieve your fitness goal.
It’s essential for you to keep your body active to manage the pain and other crucial symptoms. One of the best ways to bring a change to your sedentary lifestyle is to perform exercise regularly. However, make sure that you stick to only those moves that are comfortable to do.
Avoid those exercises that put undue stress on your joints as that can aggravate your pain. You should perform both stretching and strength building moves to keep your body healthy.
You can also try yoga and Tai Chi to keep your body active and to subside your pain. Apart from that, swimming in warm water can also bring a world of difference to your condition.
Seek Physical Therapy
If you think that home remedies are unable to reduce your pain, then you should see a reliable physical therapist. Your therapist will examine the affected joints to figure out the level of inflammation before creating a care plan to treat your problem.
According to Sports and Ortho Physical Therapy, physical therapy helps in “Restoring natural pain-free range of motion in your joints.” It also says that it helps in “Improving muscular support and strength around your joints.”
Your physical therapist will not only focus on reducing your pain, but they will also work toward increasing your joint balance.
Consume Anti-Inflammatory Foods
One of the best ways to prevent joint inflammation from worsening is to consume anti-inflammatory foods such as spinach, collards, tomatoes, olive oil. Fruits such as cherries, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries also have anti-inflammatory properties so you should increase their consumption.
Apart from that, fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon are also vital for reducing or controlling inflammation.
Keep Your Body Hydrated
It’s also necessary for you to keep your body hydrated to fight inflammation. Drinking sufficient water helps in removing toxins from your body, which makes it easier to fight inflammation. Apart from that, water is also essential for lubricating the joints.
If you follow these tips effectively, you will surely be able to manage your arthritis pain in cold weather.