What is the weather like? Ask your Joints. Of course its winter!
What should I eat today? Ask your joints. They are demanding foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids!
What should I wear? Ask your Joints. Layer up please!
Joints assume the role of the little dictator.
Joint pains get aggravated during winter months. The pains cannot be wished away. They can only be managed.
The most common types of chronic joint pain in the Elderly are Arthritis or osteoarthritis affecting knees hips, hands, spine or sometimes shoulders. Rheumatoid is the second most common type attacking fingers, wrists, elbows, knees ankles and toes. Other types of pain in winter are from gout, sprains, spondilites etc. Whatever are the name or nature of the invasion of your health there is undoubtedly a slowing down effect. There is pain, sometimes excruciating pain leading to doctor’s visits, physiotherapy sessions, injection, and medication.
What happens in winter?
There is less blood flow due to inactivity and because of the cold; the joints are stiff and less flexible. There can be inflammation of the bones too. An injury takes a longer time to heal.
5 Simple ways to deal with joint Pain in winter:
Keep moving to allow for flexibility. Especially in the mornings when the bones are stiff, a few stretches, light yoga or even light weights if allowed, can warm up the muscles for the day.
2) Stay warm:-
To brace for the cold and chill warm in layers, sweaters, shawls, socks, cap and gloves. Better be safe than sorry. More so if one wants to venture out of doors. A foot bath at night is a lovely way to lull you to sleep better too. Hot water bag adds cosiness to the chill of a winter bed.
3) Vitamin D:-
An important Vitamin we often forget, Vitamin D. Supplements are good but the best source of this Vitamin is the Sunlight. In any case one naturally gravitates toward the warmth of the sun in the winter months. Sitting out in sunlight or walking in the sun is good for the body and very good for the mind.
4) Eat an Anti inflammatory diet:-
Avoiding red meat, eggs may not be a bad idea. Antioxidants and anti inflammatory foods might include, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, oily fish, (supplements if vegetarian), fruits like berries, avocado (considered a super food) onions garlic, turmeric, walnuts, yoghurt all help in fighting joint inflammation.
5) Massage and pain medication:-
A massage is always refreshing and rejuvenating. The sleeping muscles are woken up, the joints are gently manipulated and one feels pampered.
Pain killer medications can also be used to alleviate the tension and torture of suffering. Beside the usual allopathic drugs, homeopathy can be beneficial like arnica gel or rhus tax Gel. Also there are the usual ointments like Move, Volini etc. But not without consulting the doctor though. (Very important)
In conclusion we can say that to deal with Joint pain we need awareness and information. The truth is we have look at Joint Pains in winter as part of aging and take necessary steps to deal with. Just like a plant when it’s on a growth path, it is fresh, green, supple ,but when it has grown over time it becomes brittle and coarse and breaks easily ,so we too when we are in the evening of our lives and we too become prey to health problems. Winter is the time when we are more vulnerable.
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