Keep knee pain at bay this winter

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Do you need a thermometer to let you know when the temperatures varies outside?

Or do your joints painfully serve as your weather forecast? Unfortunately, for many who suffer from arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, cold weather can cause havoc on already vulnerable parts of your body.

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What causes the pain?

The Barometric pressure drops in winter. Researchers believe that when this happens, inflamed areas of our bodies (knees, hips, hands, elbows, and shoulders) swell. Swelling can irritate nerves, which results in increased pain.

How can you reduce the pain?

Winter should be pleasurable for everyone. The following tips will help keep you pain free this winter:

· Eat a balanced diet: Follow a healthy diet by including seasonal fruits, vegetables, pulses, cereals and dairy products into your daily meal. It is essential for people, who are already suffering from joint and knee pain to include foods rich in Vitamin K, D and C (like oranges, spinach, cabbage and tomatoes) into their diet; as they play an important role in the production of cartilage and helps the body absorb calcium thus strengthening the bones. Drink plenty of water, as dehydration reduces flexibility, which can increase the chances of injury.  Supplements with vitamin D or fish oil is recommended as it is rich in omega 3 which helps decrease inflammation. Stay away from unhealthy drinks. Alcohol, tea, coffee, and other aerated drinks reduce the amount of calcium you absorb, and weaken bones. Swap your caffeine-fuelled drinks with water and fresh juices.

· Stay active: Exercise regularly. It not only helps you lose weight but also increases flexibility and strengthens the muscles that support the knee (e.g. aerobics, walking, swimming or cycling). Your knees experience about three to four times your body weight when you walk, so lose weight to help your knees.

· Get some sun: The sun supplies you with essential vitamin D. This is essential for the strengthening of the bones and other bodily functions. Soak up the sun either in the morning or evening. It will not only naturally warm you up but also give you much needed nutrients.

· Use heat and stay warm: Warm water can help soothe your joints. Take a dip in a heated pool or draw a hot bath. You can also use a heating pad on troubled areas, but no more than 20 minutes at a time.  If your knees ache, try keeping them warm with a sleeve or wrap. Wear gloves/socks/sweaters to keep your body warm. Have warm baths, they are beneficial in keeping your joints warm and help in relieving the stiffness and pain of arthritis and other conditions.

Does the pain make you feel helpless?

Inflammation and stiffness of the joint restricts movement and causes chronic pain. In this condition, the patient is unable to conduct daily activities like walking, sitting for longer time etc. resulting in decreased quality of life. Especially during winters, the pain often aggravates at night causing extreme restlessness and fatigue. Many tend to ignore the pain or take painkillers and visit doctors only at a later stage.

When advised a surgery, it’s extremely crucial for the patient and his family to conduct the proper research before opting for any form of surgery. The last few years have seen a dynamic change in the technology used for knee surgeries. Patients not willing to live a compromised life can opt for total knee replacement surgery. Technologically advanced, Oxidized Zirconium has lately been successful in offering a long lasting knee. Advanced technology such as this can help create better performing and longer lasting implants. It is tested to last for 30 years (under lab conditions). Hence it is highly recommended prosthesis for one to have an active life.

Sanchar Express News Desk

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