Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Does Cold Make Arthritis Worse

Practice Good Sleep Habits

Cold weather exercise tips for arthritis sufferers

Some people find that having fewer hours of daylight disrupts their sleep cycle, making them feel tired during the day.

For people with PsA, a lack of sleep can worsen chronic pain and other symptoms. This can affect their quality of life.

The following can help establish good sleep habits:

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule.
  • Ensure the room is dark, quiet, and neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco before bedtime.
  • Limit or avoid screen time before bed and leave devices in another room, if possible.
  • Exercise each day, as this helps people sleep better at night.

Vitamin D is a hormone essential for maintaining healthy bones and skin. The body produces most of its vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but levels can fall during the winter months.

A looked into the relationship between vitamin D3 and PsA. People with PsA who had low vitamin D3 levels also had greater disease activity. Lower vitamin D levels were also associated with more severe skin lesions in people with psoriasis.

A 2015 review investigated the efficacy of vitamin D pills and topical vitamin D treatments for psoriasis. The researchers found that both types of vitamin D treatments could reduce symptoms.

Food sources of vitamin D include oily fish and fortified dairy products. A doctor may also recommend vitamin D supplements in some cases.

Does Cold Weather Really Make Arthritis Worse

Achingly cold: But a sudden cold snap won’t cause osteoarthritis

A common misconception about arthritis is that it is an inevitable part of ageing. In fact, while osteoarthritis – the most common form of the disease – does tend to affect older people, it is not caused by ageing and it does not affect everyone. And there are increasing numbers of younger sufferers.

OA affects 8.5million people in the UK, making it the country’s most prevalent joint disease and the main cause of hip and knee replacements. It is more prevalent in women than men, and usually develops in the over-50s.

The condition causes damage to the cartilage and underlying bone.

When the cartilage deteriorates, the bone underneath thickens and the bones of the joint rub together, causing pain, inflammation and the development of knobbly-looking bony growths, called osteophytes, around the edge of the joints.

At the same time, the joint lining, which is usually as thin as cling film, becomes much thicker and inflamed, and the amount of lubricating fluid can increase, making the joint painful, swollen and stiff to move.

The condition usually develops gradually over many years before symptoms appear and can occur in just one joint, but it normally affects several joints, most commonly the knees, hips, spine and the hands.

Here, Philip Conaghan, professor of musculoskeletal medicine at the University of Leeds, debunks myths about the condition.

MYTH: Jogging will lead to osteoarthritis in later life.

Use Heated Mats Strategically In Your Home

Nothing helps soothe arthritis pain like heat, so place some heated mats around your home in places where you spend a lot of time, recommends Peter P., 56, who has osteoarthritis and gout. Heated mats work like electric blankets but theyre more portable and made to be stood on, so they warm up your feet and leg joints from the bottom up. I have one right by my bed and I turn it on before I get up, he says. Without it I cant even walk to the bathroom on cold mornings. He also keeps one by the couch in his living room and under the table in his kitchen.

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The Chronic Nature Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease. Inflammation in the lining inside your joints causes swelling, pain and stiffness. However, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other parts of your body, such as your skin, eyes, blood vessels, and even your organs, like your lungs or heart.

There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but treatment can help lessen pain and stiffness, and slow down the diseases progress. However, no matter how well your disease is under control, you may find that cold weather makes your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms worse. You may even feel you can predict the weather based on how your joints feel. There havent been many studies looking into the weather-pain connection in rheumatoid arthritis. Some small studies seem to support it, while others are inconclusive.

Heres What Can Help Winter Arthritis Pain:

8 Ways You Could Be Making Your Cold Worse

1.Maintain a healthy weight

If you are obese, and therefore carrying extra weight, that puts extra strain on the joints and can exacerbate osteoarthritis, says Dr McClymont. Regular exercise and a healthy diet plan to maintain a healthy weight and BMI are ideal.

Theres strong evidence that losing weight can improve your overall health and physical function and this applies to those with osteoarthritis. Losing just 10% of your weight if you are overweight or obese can lead to significant improvement in symptoms of osteoporosis and pain relief.

A Livi doctor can help you with a plan toward achieving a healthy weight.

2.Eat a joint-friendly diet

Experts recommend that those with osteoarthritis aim to eat at least 1 portion of oily fish, like salmon or mackerel a week. The omega-3 oils found within the fish have anti-inflammatory properties that may help those suffering with this condition.

A Mediterranean-style diet that includes healthy oils, nuts and wholegrains may also help. One study found that patients with osteoarthritis had a significant reduction in pain after switching to a wholefoods, plant-based diet. Patients in the study also lost weight without counting calories or limiting portions.

A deficiency in vitamin K may increase the risk of osteoarthritis, so there is some suggestion that increasing this vitamin may help talk to a doctor about this option first.

3.Cut down on pro-inflammatory foods

4.Prioritise exercise

5.Keep your joints warm

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Between Slippery Sidewalks Aching Joints And Colds And Flu Winter Is Rough On Arthritis These Tips Can Help You Stay Healthy And Safe

If it hasnt arrived where you live yet, rest assured that winter is coming and that can be bad news for people with arthritis , many of whom can literally feel the season in their bones. Some people with arthritis feel better in the winter, but most feel worse, reports Vinicius Domingues, MD, a rheumatologist in Daytona Beach, Florida, and medical advisor for CreakyJoints.

Science hasnt homed in on the reason that cold weather can exacerbate arthritis joint pain and stiffness, but there are a few possible explanations. A fall in barometric pressure, which often occurs as a cold front approaches, can cause joints to expand, which may result in pain. Low temps may also increase the thickness of the synovial fluid that acts as the joints shock absorber, which makes joints stiffer and more sensitive to pain. Winter even seems to affect us down to our DNA. According to one 2015 study, genes that promote inflammation are increased in winter, while genes that suppress inflammation are simultaneously decreased in the winter. If all thats not enough, flu season is also riskier when you have inflammatory arthritis.

The good news: Winter doesnt have to be season of your discontent if you have arthritis. Check out this advice on how to stay healthy and manage your arthritis pain during the winter months.

Why Cold Weather Makes Your Dog’s Arthritis Worse

Joints & Arthritis0

As dogs age, many succumb to the painful effects of arthritis. This disease of the joints is most often caused by natural wear and tear, leading to the degeneration of the cartilage that cushions the bones. As arthritis progresses, your dog may begin to experience worsened pain and severe immobility.

When winter comes around, your dogs arthritis may be acting up worse than ever. Much like in humans, dogs joints can be affected by cold winter weather for a few potential reasons. Once the temperatures start to drop, its important to be mindful of your pups mobility and comfort and potentially begin additional treatment methods, so your dog can move freely and easily all winter long.

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Why Does The Cold Cause Pain And Stiffness

There is no one explanation for why dropping temperatures affect your joints. One theory relates to drops in barometric pressure, which cause tendons, muscles and the surrounding tissues to expand. Because of the confined space within the body, this can cause pain, especially in joints affected by arthritis.

How To Relieve Pain Caused By Arthritis

People with arthritis are having more aches and pains with the cold weather

There are a few measures one can take to reduce joint stiffness and pain in the cold season when suffering from arthritis.

1. Dress Warmer

Covering your joints properly to provide insulation during the cold season can go a long way in relieving the pain. Scarves, socks, jackets and warm winter clothes can also be work. This ensures that body heat is not lost and that the joints do not stiffness from the cold. Also, wearing clothes that are right can help to bring down the inflammation. There are therapy gloves available in the market for specifically helping people suffering from arthritis.

2. Stay Active

For everyone, exercise and keeping active is important for their wellbeing. It is even more important for people with arthritis. A little light exercise can go a long way in ensuring that stiffness doesnt occur. Yoga, stretching and walking are considered to be enough exercises for people with arthritis.

Regular massages on affected joints are also recommended as they get the blood flowing and this keeps the joints warm.

3. Eating Nutritious Meals

Eating foods that offer the body the required nutrients also plays a major role when it comes to relieving symptoms of arthritis. Calcium and vitamin D are the essential nutrients required by people suffering from arthritis. Calcium helps to regenerate the bones while vitamin D absorbs the calcium.

4. Adapt Better Lifestyle Habits

5. See a Doctor

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Are There Other Things I Can Do To Help My Arthritis Pain

Yes. Making sure that you dress appropriately for your activity will help. If you are going for a walk, wear comfortable, layered clothing. A shirt with a sweater and maybe a light jacket would be a good choice.

This will help you stay warm and if the weather changes you can easily put on or remove articles of clothing with ease. One heavy item like a wool sweater might not keep you as warm as different layers of fabric. Also, make sure that you are wearing supportive clothing for your body movements and shoes. That might mean wearing compression socks, stockings, or gloves.

During the winter, some people might wear compression gloves and then mittens over them so that their fingers are kept together and warm within the mittens. Well-fitting shoes or boots will help keep you steady on your feet. During colder winter months, you can lose a lot of heat through the top of your head. Wearing a hat will help keep the heat from escaping when you are outside. If you must go out in winter weather, make sure you take your time.

If you occasionally use a cane to assist in walking, make sure you have it with you. Even areas known for warm weather can occasionally have rain, snow, sleet, and ice. Walking with a cane can help you steady yourself, especially if it is windy outside.

So What To Do To Prevent The Aches And Pains

During winter dressing warmly is the key. Paying special attention to the head, hands and feet, as majority of heat is lost from the body’s extremities. Some helpful winter dressing tips include:

  • Wear loose layers when going outdoors. Layers traps body heat to keep you warm.
  • Wear mittens or gloves to protect your hands.
  • Wear a hat or beanie to protect your head.
  • Wear a scraf to protect your neck.
  • Wear socks and waterproof boots to avoid getting feet wet or damp.

The cold and damp weather can also cause changes to peoples exercise plans. We have an instinct during winter to hibernate however, a lack of physical activity will cause joints to become stiff. Exercise eases arthritis pain. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. To manage arthritic conditions during the cooler months, individuals need to plan physical activities that are easy to do during winter, such as:

  • Walking indoors, such as around shopping centres
  • Household chores, like vacuuming
  • Swimming indoors, such as Hydrotherapy
  • Taking an aerobics or yoga class
  • Listening to music and dancing
  • Using the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Stretching or doing light exercises while watching TV

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Anything that keeps you moving works.

So when your joints start to warn you of miserable weather ahead, plan a warm routine of indoor exercise, rustle up your cosy clothing, or book yourself a two month holiday to a warmer destination!

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Ways To Help Arthritis Pain In Winter

Reviewed by:
Dr Rhianna McClymont, Lead GP at Livi

Need to speak to a GP today?

  • Omega-3 oils could have anti-inflammatory effects on joints
  • Eating a Mediterranean-style diet rich in oily fish, wholegrains and vegetables can also be helpful
  • Regular exercise is considered the most effective, non-drug treatment for reducing osteoarthritis pain

When the temperature drops, many people find that their hands, knees, feet, back or hips can feel stiff, tender, sore or creaky. For those with osteoarthritis the most common form of arthritis joints can also feel painful and inflamed.

Osteoarthritis most commonly develops in the mid-40s or older, and tends to run in families . Its thought that more than 40 million people in Europe suffer from it, with more women affected than men.

Soak Up The Heat In A Sauna Or Hot Tub

Does bad weather make osteoarthritis worse?

Theres a reason heat is often the first thing recommended for joint pain it really helps, Dr. Askanase says. Heat and moisture together often work better to reduce arthritis pain than either on its own so take advantage of this by spending some time in a hot sauna or steam room . If you prefer to stay at home, a hot bath often does the trick, she says. Keep all the doors closed and the fan off so the steam can build up in your bathroom.

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The Basics Of Arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. The symptoms of arthritis include stiffness and joint pain.

There are many types of arthritis. The two most common types are osteoarthritis , caused by repetitive movements, and rheumatoid arthritis , an autoimmune disease.

There is no cure for arthritis, but treatment can reduce inflammation and relieve pain and stiffness.

You probably know someone who swears they can predict the weather by their arthritis pain. You may even be one of these people.

Theres plenty of anecdotal evidence about the relationship between arthritis symptoms and weather.

Most people who believe their arthritis pain is affected by weather say they feel more pain in cold, rainy weather than in warm, dry weather.

There is some research to support the arthritis-weather connection, but some studies fail to provide conclusive evidence.

Humidity Changes May Affect Arthritis Symptoms

One study observed that humidity or the moisture present in the air, whether accompanied by high or low temperature, leads to damaging of the aching joints. Even though it was conducted on an animal model, it provides sufficient information on the destruction of cartilage and bone cells during the cold weather.

Another study conducted on people who were suffering from osteoarthritis found that humidity along with cold weather causes a sudden hike in the joint pain.

Children are also at risk of developing arthritis. The most common type is known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The expression of this disease such as pain in the joints may increase due to sudden changes in the temperature and weather.

Cold weather negatively influences these symptoms.

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Fighting Joint Pain At Countryside Orthopaedics

At Countryside Orthopaedics and Physical Therapy, our mission is to help patients of all ages feel comfortable and stay active all year long. If weather-related joint pain is slowing you down or holding you back, a professional physical therapy program can be a lifesaver. Our skilled therapists can help get you moving again while using techniques like manual therapy and ultrasound to relieve pain without medication. If cold weather means pain, lets talk about how we can move past it and hit the ground running this spring.

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Managing Your Arthritis In Warmer Weather

Dr. Stephen Duncan answers a common question about cold weather and arthritis pain

Weve been lucky to enjoy some warm days recently and while most of us love a bit of sunshine, the warmer weather can affect some people with arthritis.

People with arthritis often say that they can predict the weather based on how their joints feel. Some notice their pain and stiffness flares up in the cold and wet winter months, while others find hot and humid summer weather can make symptoms worse.

Dr Alastair Dickson, GP and health economist with an interest in rheumatology and arthritis, and trustee of the Primary Care Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine Society, says that some people are more sensitive to the weather than others.

It is unknown why weather affects arthritis pain, he says. One theory is that people are less active in cold, damp weather and keeping active is known to help relieve arthritis pain.

An alternative theory is that changes in barometric pressure affect the pain you feel. Temperature sensitivity is a common symptom of fibromyalgia, and extremes in temperature, whether it be hot or cold, can trigger flare-ups.

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