Arthritis literally means inflammation of one or more joints. According to Dr Ashwani Maichand, a leading orthopedist in Delhi, arthritis can make it very difficult for a person to move actively as it causes a lot of pain. The joint pain is known as arthralgia, which tends to increase during winter.
Arthritis is divided into two categories:
Osteoarthritis: It is the most common joint disorder, which is caused by aging joints, injury and obesity. The symptoms include joint pain and stiffness. The treatment mostly involves medication and exercise.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the tough membrane (that lines the joints) is attacked by the immune system. Women are most likely to have rheumatoid arthritis.
The effect of cold weather on Arthritic disorder
Cold weather can increase arthritic pain. “Even though there is no clear evidence to suggest how cold weather affects the joints, there are certain elements related to such weather that can explain this phenomenon,” states Dr Maichand. Atmospheric pressure applied by the weight of air has its own effects on the human body that can vary, based on factors like sea level, altitude, temperature and humidity changes.
Fluctuating pressure on the skin can cause swelling, leading to arthritic pain. Also, the hibernation lifestyle adopted by some people during winter also aggravates arthritis. .
How to prevent Arthritic pain in winter
Low-impact exercise can help in reducing stress and arthritic pain during winter. Swimming, running and stretching can also help, especially if the patient does not participate in outdoor activities.
Dressing in layers to control the body temperature is a good method to avoid arthritic pain during winter, suggests Dr Ashwani Maichand, an experienced orthopedist of Delhi. It is also important to cover fingers and toes, especially while being outdoors. An individual must drink adequate amount of water to avoid dehydration, which can lead to tiredness, and cause pain in the body.
According to arthritic foundation, fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids, which can ease arthritic inflammation. Glucosamine-chondroitin, a herbal supplement, can also serve as a low-risk therapy for arthritis. Vitamin-D supplement can come handy, especially during cloud cover or rain. Dr Maichand suggests that by taking proper precautions and improving the lifestyle, a patient suffering from arthritis can easily minimize the impact of winter.