Why arthritis tends to worsen during the colder months ?
When I asked Susan why her arthritis seemed worse during winter, she shared several common factors that intensify arthritis pain:
❄️ Cold temperatures can thicken joint fluid, making movement harder and pain more pronounced. ❄️ Reduced physical activity leads to stiffness and decreased mobility. ❄️ Winter’s immune system challenges can exacerbate arthritis symptoms.
Certainly, At Nordicfysio, as specialized physiotherapists, we can provide you with some valuable tips to help relieve arthritis pain in individuals over 60 before the arrival of winter. We’ll also address why arthritis tends to worsen during the colder months:
Step 1: Maintain a Consistent Exercise Routine: Regular, gentle exercise is essential for arthritis management. Focus on exercises that improve joint flexibility and strength, such as swimming, low-impact aerobics, and range-of-motion exercises. Staying physically active helps reduce stiffness and joint pain.
Step 2: Keep Joints Warm: During colder weather, ensure that you keep your joints warm to minimize pain and stiffness. Layer clothing to trap heat, use heating pads or warm baths, and consider wearing compression garments for added warmth.
Step 3: Maintain a Healthy Diet: A well-balanced diet is crucial for arthritis management. Include foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties, such as fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel), nuts, seeds, and colorful fruits and vegetables. Stay hydrated to help lubricate your joints.
Step 4: Protect Your Joints: Use assistive devices when necessary to reduce the strain on your joints. Properly designed canes, braces, or orthotic inserts can help. Avoid repetitive movements that can worsen pain.
Step 5: Consult a Physiotherapist: Consider seeking guidance from a physiotherapist who specializes in arthritis pain management. They can provide personalized exercises and techniques to improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and help you prepare for the winter season.
Now, let’s address why arthritis pain can worsen in winter:
1. Barometric Pressure Changes: Winter weather often brings fluctuations in barometric pressure, which can affect the pressure inside your joints. These changes may lead to increased pain and stiffness.
2. Cold Temperatures: Cold weather can cause the muscles and tissues around your joints to contract and tighten, making joint movement more difficult and painful.
3. Reduced Physical Activity: People tend to be less active during the winter months, which can lead to muscle weakness and decreased joint mobility. Lack of movement can exacerbate arthritis symptoms.
4. Vitamin D Deficiency: Reduced sun exposure in winter can result in lower vitamin D levels. Vitamin D plays a role in maintaining bone health and reducing inflammation. A deficiency may contribute to joint pain.
It’s essential to stay proactive in managing arthritis pain, especially before the winter months. Consultation with a specialized physiotherapist can help you develop a personalized plan to address your specific needs and improve your quality of life.