Arthritis pain relief medications are most commonly searched during winters. As winters affect the joints and bones of people (mostly elderly), this conditioned is heightened during the winter season.
Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. The most common type, osteoarthritis, involves the degeneration of particular cartilage protecting the bone ends within a joint. Without cartilage protection, tendons and ligaments have to work harder. Severe loss of cartilage can lead to bone rubbing on the bone, causing friction and eventual swelling and inflammation.
During the winter season, joint pains and stiffened muscles are the most common health problem plaguing the lives of older people. There is a 50% spike in the number of senior citizens seeking treatment for bone and joint problems during winter.
Few of the reasons why arthritis flares up during the winters are:
- During winters, the pain receptors become more sensitive.
- The drop in the atmospheric pressure causes painful joints. When the pressure decreases, tissues swell up, building tension between joints, causing pain.
- There are more muscle spasms in colder temperatures, which worsen the pain and stiffen the joints.
- Winters amplify the arthritis pain as the cold lessens the blood circulation to the fingers and toes.
- Due to less sunlight during winters, vitamin D levels get lowered that in turn leads to weakened bones and joints.
Although the cold season does flare the arthritis pain, there are 7 tips to find relief from this excruciating pain. These are:
- Dress in warm clothes –It is very necessary to keep one warm during the winter. Always ensure that you are covering your hands, knees, legs and all the other arthritis prone areas in the body. The more you keep yourself warm, the less the joints would stiffen.
- Hydrate – Compared to the summers, people do not often feel thirsty during winters. But it is still important to keep yourself hydrated as it keeps you more active. Even mild dehydration might make you more sensitive to pain.
- Exercise – During the cold seasons, people feel more sluggish and prefer to not move much. However, people with or without joint pain must stay active. It is important to exercise indoors to improve symptoms like joint stiffness and muscle weakness.
- Keep yourself warm and cozy – It is very important to keep your body warm and not let the coldness penetrate into the body, and affecting the arthritic zones. Heating pads are more useful for localized areas where joints have become stiff and painful from the cold weather.
- Take warm baths – Taking warm baths can also help in soothing the joints. It gives great relief.
- Supplement vitamin D – During winters there is less exposure to sunlight which lowers the vitamin D levels. Add a vitamin D3 supplement and make sure to include vitamin D-rich foods like eggs, mushrooms and fortified cereal in your diet.
- Omega-3 fatty acids – It is important for people with arthritis to increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids as they are highly beneficial in reducing the inflammation level in your joints. The diet should include more avocado, flaxseeds, walnuts, and fish.
The above mentioned are the most common ways of tackling arthritis pain.
Sometimes eating warm food that has thermogenic properties can be beneficial for fighting arthritis inflammation. This tip seems very apt in cold weather. Some of these food items include ginger, turmeric, and cayenne which are commonly referred for their naturally combating arthritis inflammation, while other food items like citrus fruits have been shown to exhibit vasodilation properties.
The Arthritis Foundation has also stated that getting a massage therapy can be very effective for pain reduction. Getting massages or physiotherapy sessions from professionals can make stiff joints more pliable, boost blood circulation, and even trigger serotonin release in the brain. Hot stones or warming lotions can also be quite helpful to arthritis pain relief during winters.