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As winter chill plays havoc on joints, here’s how to keep them healthy

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As winter chill plays havoc on joints, here’s how to keep them healthy

The problem in joints and bones does not just restrict your movement but can also cause a lot of discomfort and pain. If you do not take care of them properly, with the onset of winter, problem in bones and joints is inevitable.

What causes joint pains in winter?

Due to the cold temperature, the pain threshold of the body decreases as the nerve endings become sensitive, exceeding the pain tremendously. Another reason for joint pains is that the blood doesn’t circulate properly in the body parts causing pain and stiffness in the joints.

In winter, the physical activity of the body also decreases and hence, the joints start paining. Another reason behind this can be the restricted absorption of Vitamin D (sunlight) in your body during winter.

What to do?

Healthy Lifestyle: Balanced Diet and Exercise

A balanced diet is key to overall healthy living. Eat a diet which comprises fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy products and pulses. Along with diet, physical activity is also important. Your physical activity may not necessarily be an hour in the gym but can also be a 30-minute brisk walk. To maintain a healthy life, one needs to eat calories and then burn them, so keep moving. Exercising also strengthens the muscles and maintains your weight and thus supports your knees to balance your weight

Warm-up before exercise is important:

Exercise is important but makes sure that you warm up before starting any rigorous exercise. This will avoid injury and make your body more flexible. The warm-up also increases your blood circulation which increases the effect of exercise. 

Stay Hydrated:

Many associates it with combating dehydration but water is essential for joint pain relief as well. In winter, we tend to reduce our water consumption but it is necessary because the cartilage between the joints has to be smooth and in order to maintain the right amount of friction, the body needs to be hydrated

Stay Active, Maintain Weight:

Changes in dietary habits and reduced physical activity during winter can result in weight gain. This increases the load on major joints like the knees which can cause or worsen joint pain. Reducing body weight can help prevent pain

Say No To Carbonated Drinks:

Caffeinated drinks like cola and other fizzy ones minimise the absorption of calcium. And calcium deficiency can lead to problems in bones. So, apart from having calcium-rich food, one should avoid having fizzy drinks so that the calcium that you are having is absorbed by your body

Avoid Smoking:

It is a lesser-known fact that people who smoke tend to have lower bone density and hence, are at higher risk of issues related to bones and joints. Quit smoking for a healthier lifestyle and robust bones!

Maintain Right Posture:

Standing and sitting in the right posture prevents problems in joints and bones. Slouching can affect your bones and create a problem for you. Posture is important even when you are carrying something. If you pick up something heavy, then don’t bend your back rather bend your knee

Comfort Aching Joints:

Application of heat in the form of a hot water bag or electric heating pad can provide comfort to aching joints. Warm baths can also help relax muscles and relieve joint pain

Calcium-rich Diet:

Your body needs calcium to maintain stronger bones. Some calcium-rich foods are milk, yoghurt, broccoli, cheese, legumes, dry fruits, seafood and green leafy vegetables. And your body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Both calcium and Vitamin D are essential in maintaining healthy bones and joints.

Watch Out For CKD ( VITAMIN C, K AND D)

People who have a problem with their joints and muscles are prescribed to have foods rich in vitamins D, K and C.

During winters we don’t get sufficient sunlight which is a vital source of Vitamin D. Apart from having a diet rich in Vitamin D you can also have a Vitamin D supplement once a week. A deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis if it persists for a longer time. These three Vitamins help in the absorption of calcium in the bones and also help in the production of cartilage. Examples of some foods rich in Vitamin D are fatty fish, egg yolks, milk and cheese. Some foods rich in Vitamin K are green leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cabbage and kale. Some foods rich in Vitamin C are oranges, lemons, strawberries and kiwi.

Positive Mindset and Good Company:

From Our Ancient Texts:

नित्यं हिताहारविहारसेवी समीक्ष्यकारी विषयेष्वसक्त: ।

दाता सम: सत्यपर: क्षमावानाप्तोपसेवी च भवत्यरोग: ॥

One who indulges daily in healthy foods and activities, who discriminates the good and bad of everything and then acts wisely, who is not attached too much to the objects of the senses, who develops the habit of charity, of considering all as equal, of truthfulness, of pardoning and keeping the company of good persons only, becomes free from all diseases.

– Article by 

 Dr Tanay Nahatkar

MS Orthopedics

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