. Joint pain in winters | CK Birla Hospital
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Things you need to know

Things you need to know

What causes joint pain in winters?

What causes joint pain in winters?

There aren’t any factual reasons to why joint pain increases as the weather starts to drop. But some observational theories may help in understanding the environmental causes.

 

Decrease in atmospheric pressure
As the temperature decrease, it causes changes in the barometric pressure which can lead to expansion and contraction of tendons, bones, tissues and muscles, and the nerve endings are pressed,, resulting in joint pains and swellings. Low temperatures may cause joint fluids to thicken, making them stiffer and potentially more responsive to discomfort during movement.

 

Lack of mobility and exercise
We attempt to stay in our comfort zones during the winter and avoid working out or even going for a brisk stroll. The tissues that need to contract are unable to do so because of a lack of mobility, causing the joints to stiffen.

 

Low Vitamin D levels
In winters, we don’t get to feel the warmth of the sun every day. On cloudy days when the temperature is low, it clearly indicates less sunshine leading to lower vitamin D levels in the body, weakening the joints and bones.

Who is more prone to joint pain

Who is more prone to joint pain

Tips to avoid joint pain in winters

Tips to avoid joint pain in winters

Keep your body active
We are sluggish throughout the winter season, and most of us do not feel the energy to get out of bed, especially on a chilly winter morning. It is, nonetheless, important to keep your body active and moving. To keep yourself fit, it would be best if you start with some physical activities, like, swimming indoors, yoga, pilates, weight training. Physical activities will help increase your bone and muscle strength with the hope that it minimises the pressure on joints and relieve the pain and discomfort.

 

Watch your weight
Weight gain is common in winters. We tend to ignore and let our weight slide a bit without being aware that even a small amount of increase in weight might affect the knees and joints. Make it a goal to stay fit throughout the season to avoid any inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Stop making excuses because excuses will not burn calories.

 

Layer it up
When you’re going out in the cold, wear plenty of layers and keep yourself covered up. Understandably, it is annoying to put on layers of sweaters, jackets, gloves, caps, and socks just to go out, even for a few minutes, but it is critical to keep yourself protected. The most important thing to remember is to keep your hands and feet warm at all times. When you go outside to get some fresh air and exercise, wearing warm clothes will help you feel more comfortable and cosy.

 

Relax and soothe your muscles
When the weather is gloomy, people tend to feel depressed. As the temperature drops, it is critical to concentrate on aching joints and rising discomforts. Soothing your muscles by applying pain relief ointments and taking warm salt baths should become a habit in the winter to prevent joint pain and inflammation.

 

Keep yourself hydrated
Without enough water, your brain will remain dehydrated and will eventually start slowing down your biological functioning and consume more energy. Less water intake may leave you feeling lazy and gloomy all day. Aim for approximately eight glasses of water every day, more if you stay active or exercise.

 

Take necessary supplements
Consuming vitamin D supplements and omega 3 fatty acids will help in reducing joint inflammation and avoiding stiffy joints. Supplements like these can help in keeping the body healthy during winters.

 

Eat a well-balanced diet

A well-balanced diet will keep your body healthy over the winter months, preventing illness and the accompanying aches and pains. While it is not certain how food affects joint pain, it still does not change the fact that it is necessary to have a balanced diet.

 

Causes of joint pain

Causes of joint pain

Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that acts as a protective shield between the bones starts to wear down. It s most common in middle age people. Joints in the hands, neck, knees, lower back and hips start to ache more than usual.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes joint swelling and pain. It affects more than your joints. In some people, it can affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.

 

Injury and infection
Any kind of injury, especially in the winter, can result in fractured bones and sore joints. Joint mobility might be uncomfortable due to viral infections, rash, or fever.

 

Gout
A gout is a form of arthritis in which the body is filled with extra uric acid causing severe pain and swelling in the joints. Gout causes pain in the knees, ankle, foot, hand, wrist and elbows.

 

Bursitis (Joint inflammation)
Bursitis is caused by the overuse of one part of the body. It is a painful inflammation of a bursa (a tiny, fluid-filled sac). Bursitis occurs when a bursa is ruptured due to overuse or excessive pressure, leading to pain and inflammation.

 

Tendinitis
Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendons that can be seen in the elbows, heels and shoulders and is usually caused by overuse of muscles or joints or that part of the body.

FAQ
FAQ

Atmospheric pressure acting on the joints decreases in wintertime allowing the joints to expand a little bit resulting in stretching of tissues around the joint. This irritates nerve endings which causes pain.

You should make physical movement, avoid gaining weight, dress warmly, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet.

Knees are like barometers and cold, damp weather can make them more symptomatic. Try keeping your knees warm with a neoprene sleeve or knee wrap.