- Winter season can trigger pain and inflammation in arthritis patients
- A healthy diet and lifestyle can help keep pain in control
- Consult a doctor if pain worsens with time
The onset of winter brings a lot of hardships for people with arthritis. The arthritis pain tends to flare up in winters causing stiffness of muscles and joints. Fatigue and swelling are also among the common symptoms. The drop in atmospheric pressure during winters causes tissues to become swollen that lead to the build-up of tension between joints, causing pain. The reduced blood circulation to fingers and toes causes the pain to become worse. Simple yet effective methods can help manage this pain at home. To know some of these we spoke to Dr. IPS Oberoi, Head of Orthopaedics & Chief at Joint Replacement & Arthroscopy at Artemis Hospital. Here are the top tips for managing arthritis pain during winters.
Arthritis and joint pain in winters: Follow these tips for relief
1. Keep yourself warm
During winters, the blood flow is directed towards your core organs such as the heart and lungs. The reduced blood flow to your joints causes stiffness and pain. It is advisable to dress in layers and remove these layers one by one in case it gets too warm. Keeping hands, feet and head covered from cold will help to minimise the loss of heat from these areas.
2. Take warm baths
Taking warm baths or swimming in a heated pool will help you keep warm and cosy during the winter.
3. Consume a healthy diet
Refrain from consuming rich and excessively sugar-laden foods such as desserts, gravy-rich curries, processed meat and much more. The excessive sugar content may aggravate pain. Unhealthy food choices also increase the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin D is a useful nutrient for keeping winter-related ailments at bay. The sunlight is a vital source of Vitamin D. Mushroom, eggs, milk and dairy products are a good source of Vitamin D. Since calcium facilitates the absorption of Vitamin D, you may take a calcium supplement under medical supervision. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce inflammation in joints like flax seeds, walnut, avocado and fish.
4. Drink plenty of fluids
Consuming ample fluids helps eliminate toxins from the body, lubricates the joints and prevents muscle cramps. Consume at least eight glasses of water in a day. You may consider green tea that is rich in polyphenols with anti-inflammatory properties. Soups are also a good option.
5. Stay active and exercise
Staying active and refraining from a sedentary lifestyle during winters also plays an important role. Amid Covid-19, go for indoor physical exercises such as stretching, cardio and weight training. Increase physical activities such as taking the staircase instead of the escalator, staying mobile inside the house instead of being confined to bed will minimise the chances of pain.
6. Keep yourself stress-free
Stress takes a toll on the human body and aggravates any pre-existing disorder. Practise deep breathing, yoga and meditation to keep stress at bay.
You may go for a consultation with a medical practitioner in case the pain worsens. It is recommended to not take any painkillers without doctor's supervision. A multi-pronged approach consisting of a healthy diet, exercise and staying stress-free will help you tackle arthritis pain and beat the winter blues.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.