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Arthritis Joint Pain and the effect of Winter

Post by DoctoriDuniya

 

Arthritis Joint Pain

Inflammation of joints is called arthritis. There use to be cartilage protection at the joint of two bones. Arthritis involves degeneration of protective cartilages. In the absence of cartilage protection, ligaments and tendons work harder. If there is a loss of cartilage protection at the joint, then it leads to the rubbing of bones causing swelling and inflammation due to friction.

There are three types of arthritis

1) Osteoarthritis: This is a type of degenerative disease affecting joints as pain and inflammation.

2) Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks joints of the body.

3) Psoriatic Arthritis: Inflamed skin with red and white patches is Psoriasis, a skin disease. 30% of people with Psoriasis can, later on, develop Psoriatic Arthritis.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Swelling, Pain, and stiffness in joints. These pains can be sharp or moderate. The pain usually occurs while changing the body’s posture like while sitting or while standing after a time gap.

There is difficulty in walking due to muscle weakness.

About 30 percent of men and 33 percent of women have arthritis between ages 14-65. Among people above the age of 65, 58% of the men and 79% are affected. This shows that Arthritis prevalence increases with age.

Effect of winter on symptoms of Arthritis

During the winter, the symptoms mentioned above increase by about 50%, especially in senior citizens. This happens because -

The pain receptors of joints become more sensitive during the winters.

  • Lowering atmospheric pressure lead to painful joints. Tissue near joints swells when the pressure drops, causing pain.
  • Cold temperatures cause more significant muscle spasms and have a low effect on joints.
  • In winter blood vessels reduce in size, reducing blood circulation to the fingers and toes, which amplifies arthritis pain.
  • Less sunlight exposure during winters means lowering of Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency leads to weakened bones and joints.

Diagnosis

While physically examining the patient, the doctor checks the joints and swelling, etc. A doctor may suggest the following procedures depending on signs and symptoms of arthritis.

Various Lab tests.

Imaging tests like X-ray, Ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan.

Arthritis Joint Pain

Treatment of Arthritis

Patients who have arthritis are treated by a Rheumatologist or Orthopedic Surgeon by various methods to improve the quality of life. The following three ways are in practice:

Medicines: The medications used to treat arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. Commonly used arthritis medications include pain-killers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Counterirritants, Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), Biologic response modifiers, Corticosteroids, etc.

Therapy: There are various therapies to relieve arthritis-like Massage, Stretching exercise, Hydrotherapy, and Acupuncture, etc.

Surgery: The Orthopaedic surgeon will assess you and recommend whether you will benefit from surgery or not. Sometimes, they may not recommend surgery. If surgery is recommended, it is still your decision whether to have it or not.

The standard type of surgery in arthritis involves joining two bones (Arthrodesis), cutting or repositioning of joint (Osteotomy), removal of joint (Resection), or Joint replacement (arthroplasty).

Precautions in winter

One should take the following precautions, especially in the winter season, to deal with arthritis.

Warm Clothes — Wear warm clothes in layers. Cover your arthritis affected parts with comparatively warmer cloths.

Stay Hydrated — Stay hydrated; it will keep you active. Dehydration makes your joints more sensitive to pain.

Exercise — Do some moderate indoor exercise to avoid symptoms like stiffness and weakening of muscle.

Keep affected parts warm — Use an electric heating pad, hot water bag, or an electric blanket to keep yourself warm while resting or sleeping.

Warm baths– Swimming in a warm swimming pool can soothe your joints. You can also get relief from daily warm baths.

Vitamin D — Under your doctor’s guidance, you can take Vitamin D as a supplement. The level of Vitamin D plays a vital role in the sensitiveness of arthritis pain.

Take Omega-3 fatty acids — Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the inflammation of joints. It is found in soybean, flaxseed, fish, and walnuts, etc.

Avoid Saturated fats  In winter, saturated fats like butter, ghee, etc. are increased. Saturated fats settle on the average room temperature. It also increases the weight of the body. Arthritis is worsened due to weight gain.

You can also consult online at various medical consultancy websites like Lybrate, Practo, DoctoriDuniya, etc., for your arthritis and related joint pain problems. At DoctoriDuniya You can book an appointment online with a Rheumatologist or Orthopaedic doctor 24X7, with eOPd and an e-prescription facility.

Before online consultation, keep all the vital information with you. Make a list of your symptoms, medical problems of the past, all medications & supplements you take, etc. The doctor may ask about the family history of joint pain.

At DoctoriDuniya.com, you can download DoctoriDuniya — Free Medical App and create your Online Personal Medical Account called NAINI. You can track the history of e-prescriptions of general medicines and, get free follow-ups; get an online doctor consultation with General physicians or Orthopaedic Surgeon and store your lab test reports & health reports for further actions at NAINI.

 

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