As we now move into the winter we are preparing for the shorter, colder days ahead. Temperatures in the UK are predicted to plummet to an average of around 4 degrees Celsius along with expected frosts. Winter is well known for causing significant challenges for those who are suffering from ongoing joint pain, and it’s not just one aspect that is responsible for this.
There are several contributing factors that can make dealing with joint pain through the colder months quite problematic.
One of the primary factors that lead to winter knee pain is the changes in the air pressure. Prior to the cold weather arriving, the barometric pressure falls which causes the fluid and gas within the joint to expand which can lead to an uncomfortable feeling of painful pressure around your nerves.
Cold and Humidity
The cold temperature paired with higher humidity influence the cellular structure of both bone and cartilage. These changes can lead to feelings of expansion and contraction which can induce pain.
The nerves within your joints increase in sensitivity during the colder months and the lower temperatures can cause this sensitivity to increase.
As the temperature drops from the changing seasons, it can cause the fluid within the joints, called synovial fluid, to thicken. As a result, this thickened fluid impedes flow around the joint which can cause them to become stiffer.
Inactivity and Staying Indoors
During the winter months, it is common for activity levels to decrease. As the days become shorter and colder, people tend to spend more time indoors. This reduction in mobility is harmful to joints as they remain inactive which may lead to increased stiffness pain.
Staying indoors can also reduce the levels of Vitamin D your body absorbs from the sunshine. Some studies have shown a link between Vitamin D deficiency and joint pain, so it is important to ensure you have a nutritious diet or take supplements to boost your Vitamin D.
Treatment Options for Joint Pain
There are many things that can help to reduce the occurrence of joint pain in the winter which include wearing warm clothes, keeping fit and active, staying hydrated and immersing yourself in a warm bath.
Floatation therapy can also help alleviate the symptoms of joint pain as floating in warm water helps to remove the effect of gravity on the body and reduces the strain and stress on joints.
If joint pain is becoming unbearable and interfering with life, then you can talk to Mr Punwar about the different surgery options. If there is widespread cartilage damage that is causing you a lot of pain and discomfort, you might consider a joint replacement. To find out more, get in touch to arrange a consultation with Mr Punwar.