Winter can lead to a surge in cases arthritis, say doctors
Winter weather can be especially harsh on those who suffer from arthritis. The bone-chilling cold during winter can flare up arthritis leading to pain, swelling, inflammation, and stiffness of the joints. Thus, a majority of patients will feel uncomfortable as arthritis impacts their quality of life. Keep those achy joints warm by dressing appropriately, opt for physical activity to enhance strength and flexibility, boost energy and ease the pain. Get enough vitamin D as being deficient in it can lead to joint pain. Skip sugary foods that cause inflammation in the body.
Just like allergies and infections, even arthritis can flare-up during winter. Arthritis means the inflammation of the joints. Winter can lead to a surge in cases arthritis. A significant fall in the barometric pressure, which often occurs as cold approaches, causing joints to expand and become painful. Low temps may also increase the thickness of the synovial fluid that acts as the joints shock absorber, making joints stiffer and sensitive to pain. So, when pressure lowers, tissues swell, building tension between joints, and causing pain.
Dr. Vishwajeet Chavan, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Apollo Spectra Pune said, “about 70 patients with arthritis visit the outpatient department every month. However, since the onset of the cold, the number of patients has increased, and now 85 to 90 patients are complaining of joint pain in the age group of 55 to 80. Women are more prone to joint pain in winter than men. Hence, joint pain is 5% higher in women than in men. Hot water compression can be opted for to stay warm during the colder days and manage arthritis. Cover your hands, knees, legs, and all arthritis-prone areas by dressing in layers. Stay hydrated as dehydration can make you more sensitive to pain. Don’t forget to exercise indoors to improve the symptoms like joint stiffness and muscle weakness, and also take warm showers. Eat omega-3 fatty acids to lower inflammation in the joints. Add avocado, flaxseeds, walnuts, and fish to the diet. Stress triggers arthritis pain, do yoga and meditation. Low levels of vitamin D might lead to arthritis pain. Take vitamin D supplement after consulting the doctor. Avoid heavily processed, sugary and fried foods, alcohol, and colas that trigger joint pain.”
Dr. Ashish Suryavanshi, Orthopedic, Lokmanya Hospital Pune Said, I am seeing 5-6 patients on daily basis with complaint of arthritis. Rise in 25% cases compared to last year. Woman above 50 years are largely seen compared to man.”
There are more muscle spasms in colder temperatures leading to joint pain. The cold climate reduces the blood circulation to the fingers and toes, which also causes arthritis pain. Less sunlight during winters can lead to lower vitamin D levels and weakened joints. Thus, many rheumatoid arthritis patients find it harder to control symptoms during chilly days.” added Dr Suryavanshi