In just a few weeks, we will begin to experience a gradual decline in a day and night temperatures, heralding the arrival of winter. Most people find this to be a welcome change in heat, but for people with joint pain or deteriorating bone health, this can be a difficult season.
In winter, many of my patients complain of more joint pain than usual. Patients with arthritis say they experience more pain and stiffness in their joints. Why do we feel sorer in winter?
Therefore, there are many theories and reasons to explain why people experience more aches and pains as the temperature starts to drop.
Tips for bone and joint health this winter
Here are some things you can do to keep your bones and joints healthy as winter sets in-
- Stay physically active and exercise regularly. This helps increase blood circulation and keep warm. Exercise can also help improve bone and muscle health and reduce joint stiffness.
- Choose exercises that are easy on the joints and do not put too much pressure on the bones. Stretching exercises help relieve pain, Pilates can improve posture while strengthening muscles, and swimming pool-based exercises can reduce joint pressure while still being very effective.
- According to age, the diet should be healthy, and adequate calcium and vitamin D should be provided in the diet. Dairy products, almonds, and soybeans are good sources of calcium. Dairy products are also a good source of eggs, cereals and fortified foods, and vitamin D.
- Wear multiple layers of clothing to keep warm. Heat can also help relax the muscles, so you can apply heating pads or compresses to painful joints or muscles.
- Try to get sufficient sleep every night.
- Do your best to maintain a positive and optimistic attitude – low temperatures may often make people feel depressed or low, which may affect people’s perception of the severity of pain.
- If you have inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, controlling the disease can prevent aggravation of pain in cold weather.
If the pain continues to worsen for two weeks or more, or people with pre-existing diseases have new or unusual symptoms in their joints, I suggest that they consult a doctor immediately and get the necessary treatment in time.