In INDIA , its not uncommon to hear from our parents and grandparents that joint pains get worse with winters. But WHY ? joint pains or arthritic pains worse with drop in temperature? Inadequate research on why joint pain increase with temperature drop make it unclear but the most common and obvious reason for increased joint pain in winters is because in cold weather body tends to keep vital organs warm so most the blood supply is to the center parts of body thus decreasing the blood supply to appendages. Decrease in blood circulation is as a result of constriction of blood vessels. Because of lesser blood supply the nutrition supply and wastage removal work around joints decreases as its important function of blood alongwith distribution of warmth. Thus making joints less flexible . painful and stiff. Joints those are already affected by Arthritis or other conditions are more prone to get affected because their is already damage to the articular surface and decreased blood supply and movement add insult tp the injury.
We can not avoid winters but we can decrease the harmful effects of decreased temperature on joints by taking few easy measures.
- Proper warmup before exercising:helps in increasing blood flow to support stress on joints during exercise.
- Morning on bed exercises: helps to regain flexibility. During sleep joints are at rest so before going off the bed basic stretching and isometric exercise helps joints to regain flexibility
- Increase water intake: because of cold whether there is lesser sweating or fluid loss from the body so we tend to drink less water but lack of hydration affects in wastage removal from the body so adequate hydration is equally important in winters.
- Warm water baths: helps in decreasing discomfort because of arthritis and it also helps by relaxing muscles.
- Balanced Diet: contains proper micro and macro nutrients that help us by decreasing muscle cramps,stiffness an maintaining bone mineral density.
- Physiotherapy :helps with exercise therapy targeting involved joints.