Don’t Overlook Joint Pain in Winters: It Can be Managed with Little Care
- People with joint ailments, especially the elderly, experience a spike in pain and discomfort in winters
Patiala, Dec 26, 2014: As the temperatures drop and winds turn chilly, there is invariably an increase in the number of people reporting ailments like asthma, sinusitis, cold, cough and flu. Another major health impact of dropping temperatures is an increase in joint pain and discomfort in people living with arthritis.
During the winter season, arthritic joints become more irritable, more inflexible and tend to experience more pain as compared to the summers.
As they brace for the winters, most people take it for granted that they will have to live a few uncomfortable months. However, it is necessary to understand the anatomy of the joints and take necessary measures to reduce uneasiness before the onset of winters.
“Though there is no direct connection between arthritic pain and winters, certain factors combine to make colder temperatures more difficult for already painful joints. In winters as the body tends to keep warmer blood closer to the heart, blood circulation to the distant parts of the body, including to the knee joints, gets affected. This makes joints stiffer and more irritable. At the same time, our levels of physical activity – a major pre-requisite for keeping the joints healthy -- go down in winters; this also affects the mobility of the joints,” says Dr Parmjit Singh Chahal, Consultant, Joint Replacement Surgery, Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala.
Osteoarthritis is the age-related wear and tear of the cartilage surrounding the bone and joints. As is the case with machines, overuse and time rusts the system and the wear and tear makes the joints painful and less alert. Osteoarthritis is an extremely common ailment of old age. People who are overweight are more prone to it as their body weight pits increased pressure on the joints.
While people who have advanced levels of osteoarthritis are advised Joint Replacement to get back their mobility and normalcy in life, people who are living with osteoarthritis need to manage the condition to keep themselves fit and moving.
In winters, this need for management increases. In fact, one should not overlook or ignore the joint pain. What you need to do is take extra measures to loosen your joins, strengthen your muscles, increase blood circulation and keep the joints hydrated to allow for a smooth winter.
Drink Enough Water: If we feel less thirsty in winters, it doesn’t mean we should drink less water. As for the entire body, water is extremely crucial for the health of the joints. The cartilage between the joints that is responsible for reducing friction between bone edges is a semi soft tissue that needs hydration to keep its surface soft and smooth. So in winters, do not reduce intake of water. Your joints do not like dehydration.
Engage in Physical Exercise: In winters, we often tend to forego our daily walk or jog as it is uncomfortably chilly to step out of the house. Some people believe that exposure to cold air will further augment the joint pain. But, this can boomerang. Exercising helps increase blood circulation and enables warm blood reach all peripheral areas of the body including joints. It also helps keep the joints moving and flexible. Lack of exercise also weakens the muscles supporting the joints, and this can increase the discomfort. So, rather than giving up exercising in winters; increase it to increase blood supply, augment bone strength and muscle activity.
Go for Regular Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy helps keep the joints functioning and flexible to the best of their ability. In arthritic patients, it is essential to keep the muscles and nerves supporting the joints healthy. Physiotherapists, not just make you exercise the joints, but also provide heat therapy to the joint, which reduces inflammation and increases comfort in winters.
Visit an Orthopedic Specialist: If your joint pain increases, do visit a doctor to get yourself examined. The doctor will analyze the extent of damage to the joint and may prescribe medication, anti inflammatory and pain relief drugs, and advise you to wear knee supports. Knee supports help support the weak joint. He may also advice you about the need for a joint replacement in case the damage is extensive, and is impacting your overall health.
About Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd.
Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. is one of the first healthcare companies to enter the country through 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) route.
About Columbia Asia Group of Companies
The Columbia Asia Group is owned by more than 150 private equity companies, fund management organizations and individual investors. The group currently operates eleven facilities in India and has presence in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Kolkata, Mysore, Patiala and Pune. The company also operates hospitals in Malaysia (10), Vietnam (3),
and Indonesia (3). The Indian management operations are managed from its office in Bangalore.