The foggy and chilly weather during the winter months can bring in a number of ailments. And joints pain is one of the most common complaint that brings people to their doctors. Because cold weather can aggravate arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, causing havoc on already vulnerable parts of the body.
What causes the pain?
The Barometric pressure drops in winter. Researchers believe that when this happens, inflamed areas of our bodies (knees, hips, hands, elbows, and shoulders) swell. Swelling can irritate nerves, which results in increased pain.
How can you reduce the pain?
However, there are many things you can do to help your knees feel their best while reducing the pain. Dr Atul Mishra, Consultant knee surgeon and head Orthopaedics at Fortis Hospital, Noida, provides a few tips that will help keep you pain free this winter:
Eat a balanced diet: Follow a healthy diet by including seasonal fruits, vegetables, pulses, cereals and dairy products into your daily meal. It is essential for people, who are already suffering from joint and knee pain to include foods rich in Vitamin K, D and C (like oranges, spinach, cabbage and tomatoes) into their diet; as they play an important role in the production of cartilage and helps the body absorb calcium thus strengthening the bones.
Drink plenty of water, as dehydration reduces flexibility, which can increase the chances of injury.
Supplements with vitamin D or fish oil is recommended as it is rich in omega 3 which helps decrease inflammation. Stay away from unhealthy drinks. Alcohol, tea, coffee, and other aerated drinks reduce the amount of calcium you absorb, and weaken bones. Swap your caffeine-fuelled drinks with water and fresh juices.
Stay active: Exercise regularly. It not only helps you lose weight but also increases flexibility and strengthens the muscles that support the knee (e.g. aerobics, walking, swimming or cycling). Your knees experience about three to four times your body weight when you walk, so lose weight to help your knees.
Get some sun: The sun supplies you with essential vitamin D. This is essential for the strengthening of the bones and other bodily functions. Soak up the sun either in the morning or evening. It will not only naturally warm you up but also give you much needed nutrients.
Use heat and stay warm: Warm water can help soothe your joints. Take a dip in a heated pool or draw a hot bath. You can also use a heating pad on troubled areas, but no more than 20 minutes at a time. If your knees ache, try keeping them warm with a sleeve or wrap. Wear gloves/socks/sweaters to keep your body warm. Have warm baths, they are beneficial in keeping your joints warm and help in relieving the stiffness and pain of arthritis and other conditions.