Parkridge Health System - December 06, 2019

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 54 million people living in the United States have arthritis.

When a person has arthritis, he or she can experience a number of symptoms:

  • Decreased range of motion
  • Difficulty walking
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

During the winter season, these symptoms can intensify, especially among older adults. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to enjoy this winter season without having to suffer through.

Find relief from arthritis pain this season

Let's take a look at some ways you can lower your risk of arthritis flare ups this winter:

First, stay as warm and comfortable as possible. By wearing extra layers of clothes, including a hat and gloves when outdoors, you can be sure to provide extra warmth to the areas of your body that can be most affected by arthritis—like the legs, hands and knees.

Second, you want to make sure that you are staying hydrated. While you might think of hydration only being a priority during the hot summer months, it is important to stay well-hydrated throughout the winter months, too. Dehydration, even when mild, can cause you to be more sensitive to arthritis pain.

Exercise also plays an important role in keeping arthritis flare-ups at bay. Try to move around throughout the day as much as possible, even you're just walking up and down the stairs in your house. When you move, you can help to lessen muscle weakness and joint stiffness and, as a result, can lower your risk of arthritis flare-ups.

Finally, talk to a physician about possibly taking a vitamin D supplement. When spending more time indoors and less time outside, you are running the risk of not getting the vitamin D your body needs. If you become vitamin D-deficient, your body is less able to absorb calcium, which harms your bone health—and those with arthritis are at a higher risk of deficiency.

Learn more about the full range of arthritis services offered by Parkridge Bone & Joint.