How To Cope With Arthritis In Winter
Arthritis is a very common condition causing pain and inflammation in the joints. It can affect anyone at any age, including children, but the most common type is osteoarthritis, which is more prevalent in people in their mid-40s or older.
The most commonly affected joints are those that can be found in the hands, spine, knees and hips – and it’s possible that you may find your symptoms worsen during the winter months.
This is because drops in temperature can increase pain sensitivity, cause muscle spasms and slow your circulation down, so knowing what to do to ease any pain you’re feeling can make a big difference at this time of year.
Firstly, staying warm is a good first line of defence, so make sure you’re wearing enough layers and that you’re using scarves, gloves and hats to their full potential. Getting in a hot bath can also work wonders where aching joints are concerned.
Keeping as active as possible is also a good way to reduce your aches and pains, easing arthritic joints. Regular exercise and physical activity increases strength and flexibility, as well as giving you lots of energy and flooding your system with endorphins, helping you to feel even better.
It’s also a good idea to make sure your home doesn’t represent a health risk. Slips, trips and falls are all too common at home and if your joints have been damaged by arthritis, your balance and proprioception may also be affected, thereby increasing your risk of falling.
To help prevent falls, use non-slip mats and rugs, make sure all parts of the house are well lit, avoid walking on slippery floors in socks or tights, mop up any spillages immediately and wear well-fitting shoes that provide you with the appropriate support.
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