Snowfall and the thought of cozy layers may make winters sound great, but the season is far from comfortable. One of the biggest issues in winters is dealing with medical conditions such as arthritis and chronic pain that worsens due to the falling temperatures.
How Does Winter Worsen Arthritis?
Inflammation of the joints aggravates during the cold weather. Commonly known as arthritis, the condition can become a lot harder to manage due to increasing stiffness in the muscles in lower temperatures. The stiffness increases as the synovial fluid thickens and restricts the smooth movement of joints. The fluid is found in cavities of joints and primarily acts as a shock absorber. It also offers consistency during movement by lowering the friction between adjoining joints.
Some of the other reasons why your arthritis is flaring up in winters are:
Low Temperature: Your body’s pain receptors become more sensitive, so the intensity of pain increases.
Decrease in Pressure: Change in atmospheric pressure causes the tissues to swell, stretching and stiffening the joints, which leads to pain.
Muscle Spasms: If you’re drinking less water than normal, dehydration can exacerbate muscle spasms. The spasms further the symptoms of arthritis.
Vitamin D: When you’re not getting enough sun, your bones will get weaker, leading to joint pain.
Managing Arthritis in the Winter
Although more common among elderly individuals, children and adults can also develop arthritis. If you’re struggling with keeping the pain under control, here’s what you can do.
Warm Baths: Water and especially warm baths can relieve the pain and ease the stiffness of muscles and joints.
Plenty of Sunlight: People with Vitamin D deficiency are at a higher risk of developing bone-related conditions. If you’re already suffering from arthritis and your body ahs low levels of Vitamin D, the pain and symptoms will get a lot worse for you. A little bit of sunlight every day can offer you great relief.
Exercise: Exercise makes your bones stronger and offers more flexibility so that minor spasms and muscle weakness don’t exacerbate the symptoms. Stretching exercises for your arms and legs are perfect for reducing the symptoms of arthritis. Make sure that you exercise in a warm environment and don’t expose yourself to the cold unnecessarily.
Improve Your Diet: Switch to a diet that’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, fish and avocado are highly beneficial in reducing the swelling caused by arthritis.
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