Around this time of the year, when temperature falls down, people start complaining about bone and joint pains. One must take extra care during the winter season to help prevent any form of body pain. Some simple precautions and exercises can keep one fit during this time. Orthopaedic surgeon in Pune, Dr Ramesh Ranka, who runs Ranka Hospital in Mukund Nagar, sheds light on how one can take care of the joints in winter.
How does the change in temperature or season affect joints in our body?
Any change in air pressure affects our body. Hence seasonal change, where there is a change in barometric pressure can cause joints to ache. Fall in temperature causes constriction of blood vessels leading to congestion of blood in the tissues. As a result, the intraosseous pressure rises, thus causing bone and joint pains.
Which joints are affected in winter?
Most commonly affected joints are of the upper and lower limbs. Patients of rheumatism experience pain in small joints of the hands. In ageing joint disorders, any joint can be affected, but prominently knees are affected.
How must one take care of one’s joints during this season?
It is essential to keep the body warm by using thermals. Maintain adequate levels of vitamin D3 because in winters, we tend to stay indoor, thus our skin is less exposed to the sunlight. This can be compensated with oral intake of vitamin D3. Keeping yourself adequately hydrated is mandatory, or this can adversely affect the joints, thus increasing the pain.
What kind of exercise should one do to keep joint pain away?
Exercise differs according to age. But you must avoid sitting in the same position for long duration. Also, it is important to maintain correct body posture. Move your hands and legs and walk around to avoid jamming your joints. To keep your joints intact, you must do jogging, brisk walking/ stretching of all upper and lower limbs, including back muscles and finally maintaining full range of movements of all joints. Treating yourself to good oil massage at a spa is a wonderful idea too.
How safe is it to take off-the-counter painkillers to ease joint pains?
Is is essential to avoid such painkillers, because they have side effects. You must take them under supervision and in appropriate dosages only. You must consult a specialist if you don’t see any result by the above mentioned non-medical therapies or having maximum four tablets of paracetamol. Also if you notice swelling, redness, or inability to walk you must visit a doctor.