This is how rainy seasons worsen joint pain in osteoarthritis patients

Monsoon can give osteoarthritis patients a tough time

Are you suffering from osteoarthritis? Well, the monsoon can give you a tough time. Here are expert tips to improve your joint health and stay active during the monsoon season.

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, impacts millions of people worldwide. Unlike other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disorder, osteoarthritis primarily occurs due to wear and tear on the joints over time. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain, stiffness, tenderness of the joints, loss of flexibility, and swelling. The treating doctor will decide the line of treatment after examining you. Did you know? Seasonal changes can lead to joint pain and those with arthritis will have a tough time.

Dr Prithviraj Deshmukh, Orthopedic Surgeon, and Pain Management specialist at Nexus day surgery center, Mumbai, shares some vital tips that osteoarthritis patients should follow to improve their joint health and stay active.

How rainy seasons worsen joint pain in osteoarthritis patients

The monsoon aggravates joint pain and stiffness in those who have arthritis. Dr Deshmukh expounds:

During the monsoon season, low-pressure systems can cause tissues surrounding the joints to expand, resulting in heightened pressure and discomfort. Furthermore, the surge in humidity levels can contribute to joint stiffness and inflammation. Also, when it rains, it’s common to become a bit lazy and avoid going outside as much as possible. However, this can result in muscle weakness and joint stiffness for those who have limited mobility or simply don’t want to venture out in wet conditions.”

“If you also suffer from arthritis and find yourself waking up each morning with severe pain and stiffness, it is likely due to the elevated levels of humidity and atmospheric pressure that can lead to inflammation in your joints, worsening all the symptoms associated with arthritis. The low pressure during this weather can cause the tissues surrounding the joints to expand, resulting in discomfort and limited mobility. This can manifest as swelling, inflammation, intense pain, and reduced range of motion. Joint pain and stiffness may worsen during monsoon weather due to the rapid temperature shifts that impact the viscosity of the joint fluid.”

Some essential measures osteoarthritis patients should take during monsoon

Dr Deshmukh says:

It is important to maintain a consistent exercise routine, especially for individuals dealing with arthritis pain, even when it is raining heavily. Do low-impact activities such as indoor cycling or stretching exercises. Exercise plays a vital role in strengthening the muscles surrounding the joints, enhancing flexibility, and alleviating stiffness. Additionally, it stimulates blood circulation, offering relief from both pain and inflammation.

Carrying extra pounds is detrimental to everyone’s health, especially for individuals with arthritis, as it intensifies joint discomfort. During the rainy season, it becomes crucial to prioritize weight management due to decreased physical activity potentially leading to weight increase. Eat and sleep well, and exercise regularly.

Protecting your joints from excessive wetness during the monsoon is vital as it can aggravate arthritis symptoms. To keep your feet dry, consider wearing water-resistant or waterproof shoes. Shield your joints from rainwater by utilizing an umbrella or donning a raincoat. Avoid extended periods of sitting or standing in damp areas and don’t forget to moisturize your skin to prevent dryness and cracking.

Warm compresses, hot water bottles, or heating pads are effective in relaxing stiff joints and reducing pain levels. Taking warm baths or showers is another option for finding comfort; however, it is important to avoid excessively hot water temperatures. Alternatively, individuals experiencing arthritis pain can opt for cold therapy to reduce swelling and numb the affected area. Applying cold packs directly or gently using ice packs wrapped in a towel on the affected joints for a period of 15 to 20 minutes can provide soothing relief from discomfort.

In the monsoon season, you might not necessarily feel parched, but it is imperative to prioritize hydration due to the excessive sweating that occurs. By drinking an adequate amount of water, you can ensure that your joints remain well-lubricated and potentially find relief from arthritis-related discomfort. The increased humidity during this period amplifies the significance of staying properly hydrated to avoid dehydration.

Take precautions at home without fail. Do not keep the floor wet as there are chances that you might not be able to balance yourself and fall. It is better to install grab bars at home, avoid keeping rugs, and ensure proper lighting at home.

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