Arthritis in Summer
Summer heat and humidity can exacerbate joint stiffness and make daily tasks difficult if you have arthritis. As the seasons change, many people with arthritis experience increased discomfort. However, you may take steps to control your symptoms and keep active. We also wrote an article on “does milk makes your bones stronger?”
What Is Arthritis And Who Is at risk?
Arthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage, which acts as a cushion between the bones in your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis are among the various kinds of arthritis.
Many variables can increase your chances of having arthritis, including:
- Age: As you get older, your chances of acquiring arthritis rise. In reality, most adults over 55 have some cartilage degeneration, and half of them have arthritic symptoms.
- Genetics: Your chance of having arthritis is influenced by genetic factors such as the shape of your bones and the composition of the cartilage between your bones. If the bones in your thigh and leg are slightly out of alignment, the pressure on your knee and ankle joints will be increased. Some people's cartilage is softer and wears out more quickly.
- Weight: Your body weight puts strain on your joints as you move. The wear and tear on your joints rise as you gain weight. When you go upstairs, for example, the pressure on your joints is equal to 5 times your body weight. You put 50 pounds additional pressure on your joints if you increase 10 pounds.
- Accidents: If you harm one of your joints, you're more likely to develop arthritis in that location. A wrist injury, for example, raises your risk of arthritis and other illnesses.
When the weather patterns change, why does joint pain increase?
While changes in temperature might alter arthritic symptoms. Pressure sensors are found in your joints. When there is a low-pressure system that delivers rain or increased humidity, your arthritic symptoms are more likely to develop. When this pain increases, joint support tablets can really help. It has glucosamine chondroitin which is an effective ingredient for joints.
Arthritis Pain Management in 5 Easy Steps
When you have arthritis pain, it's critical to learn how to maintain moving safely while reducing your symptoms. To address joint inflammation (and other types of joint pain) follow the following steps:
- Eat a balanced diet
Eat these foods to maintain a healthy weight and minimise inflammation:
- Brown rice, whole grain pasta, and oatmeal are high in fibre.
- Spinach and broccoli are examples of green leafy veggies.
- Berries, fruits, and nuts
- Fish or seafood are good sources of lean protein.
- Dairy products with a low-fat content
- Calcium and vitamin D can help reduce bone deficiency
- Stay away from foods that can aggravate inflammation
Saturated fat-rich foods, such as processed foods, fried foods, and full-fat dairy products, should be avoided.
- Keep yourself hydrated
The easiest approach to staying hydrated during the day is to drink water. Consult your doctor to determine how much water you require for best health.
- Opt for low-impact workouts
Low-impact exercises like walking, riding, and swimming help keep you moving while reducing joint stress. Running, jumping, and contact sports should be avoided. On a wet day, you can't get outside? Stay active by riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill.
- Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol
Joint inflammation or joint stiffness can be exacerbated by alcoholic beverages and smoking.
Temperature & Arthritis
People with osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) frequently associate their discomfort with the weather. While most people say that damp, rainy, and/or cold weather makes their joint pain worse, some people say that warmer weather makes it worse.
For example, over 5% of elderly persons with osteoarthritis stated that hot temperatures affected their joint discomfort in one study. When it comes to weather and joint pain, experts believe that temperature and humidity affect how tissues (such as tendons and ligaments) within a joint expand and contract, which can cause pain.
Pain, which was previously overlooked as a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), is now thought to play a significant role in this chronic neurological disease. Lhermitte's sign, neuropathic pain in the arms and/or legs, back pain, muscular spasms, and trigeminal neuralgia are all examples of pain.
What role does heat play in MS pain? Anything that raises the body's temperature, such as a hot summer day, might exacerbate MS symptoms. This occurrence is so common that it has been given a name by experts: the Uhthoff sign. The good news is that the symptoms go away after a person cools down.
In an extensive internet survey, 80 per cent of fibromyalgia patients said that weather changes aggravated their symptoms, however, the exact weather variations were not specified.
Cold and wet weather, like other rheumatological situations, appears to be more of a culprit than hot and dry—although summer days can be fairly humid, depending on where you live.
Many persons with fibromyalgia have been observed to experience "temperature sensitivity," or a worsening of symptoms (for example, muscle pain or exhaustion) in response to excessive temperature changes, hot or cold.
Is it the weather or your mood that's the problem?
Some scientists feel that hot or cold temperature affects a person's mood, which affects how they perceive pain—a fair argument.
In the aforementioned study on osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, persons who characterised themselves as weather-sensitive still suffered more joint pain than people who did not define themselves as weather-sensitive, even after controlling for characteristics like anxiety and despair. This suggests that mood disorders may not entirely account for the relationship between joint pain and weather sensitivity.
Still, it's understandable that a change in temperature can affect a person's mental well-being, which in turn can affect how they perceive or interpret pain.
The overall picture here is that it appears to be all too typical to disregard the impact of temperature changes on pain. While your growing discomfort is genuine and not imaginary, your mental well-being is likely to play a part, albeit a minor one.
Although the evidence for a link between temperature changes and pain isn't strong, it's nonetheless a typical occurrence in the medical literature. As a result, the biology behind the link is likely to be complex, if not unique to each individual. Meanwhile, trust your instincts: if the heat aggravates your pain, reduce your exposure as much as possible.