My arthritis feels worse in the winter. How can I relieve the pain and stiffness in my joints?
You are not alone. Many people suffer with arthritis pain. As a matter of fact, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis diseases that involve joints, surrounding tissue and connecting tissue.
While there is little research, it seems that the cold of winter or an approaching storm can make arthritis pain feel worse.
According to Arthritistoday.org, “In 2007, researchers at Tufts University in Boston reported that every 10-degree drop in temperature corresponded with an incremental increase in arthritis pain. Increasing barometric pressure was also a pain trigger in the Tufts study.” Atmospheric pressure may affect the cavities in the joints, while dropping temperatures accompanied by dampness in the air can cause the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the surrounding joints to contract.
Although doctors are still uncertain as to why some arthritis sufferers are so severely impacted by changing weather patterns, many experts agree that the best thing a person can do if they are suffering with arthritis is to increase the level of activity.
When your arthritis flares up, here are a few tips to ease your pain and keep moving.
1. Lose weight. Each step you take puts three to four times your body weight on each knee, which means each pound you lose yields triple the benefits to your knees.
2. Do gentle stretching exercises that keep muscles strong to support joints. Remember to warm up your joints and muscles first. This will help the stretches be more effective and may prevent injury.
3. Do range of motion exercises. When you don’t move, your joints may get stiff and painful. Talk to your healthcare provider about range-of-motion exercises and do them each day.
4. Avoid lifting heavy weights. Put the pounds down if your arthritis is flaring up and opt for more joint-friendly exercises. This can also apply to picking up grandchildren; click here to see the proper technique from Arthritis Today.
5. Keep your joints warm when you go outside. Dress in layers when braving the winter weather to keep your joints from stiffening. If you are cold inside, bundle up to keep your joints warm. A warm bath may also help relieve some of the stiffness.
6. Talk to your doctor about dietary supplements. Adding ginger to your diet might help alleviate some of your arthritis symptoms. Calcium and Vitamin D will also help keep your bones strong. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the joints.
7. Invest in better tools to use around the house. Invest in special kitchen equipment, shop tools or other aids that can help you maintain normal daily activities that would otherwise strain your joints.
If your arthritis flares up this winter and you are unable to find relief, visit your healthcare provider for treatment.
Is Old Man Winter making you feel, well ... old? It may not be just your imagination.
About one in six people suffer from some form of arthritis pain. The most common type is osteoarthritis.
Arthritis occurs when the cartilage lining the bones breaks down. Without their cartilage cushions, bones have nothing to stop them from hitting other bones. Arthritis can affect the bone joints of the fingers, knees and hips making it difficult to perform everyday movements.
Another major winter pain is rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs as a result of insufficiencies in the body’s immune system. It not only affects the lining of joints and bones, but can occasionally affect internal organs, causing symptoms of lethargy.
Although painful, arthritis can leave arthritis sufferers longing for a fireside date with the couch, a warm blanket and hot chocolate, staying mobile can help you ease the pain.