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Will my arthritis worsen in winter?

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and swelling (inflammation) in the joints.

The trapezium is one of your wrist bones that lie at the base of your thumb. Arthritis in this joint is common and is a progressive condition that can lead to pain, stiffness and deformity of your thumb.

Here Mr Shyamalan answers your questions on arthritis and how it may worsen in colder weather and what you can do to ease symptoms.

How do I know if I have arthritis?

If you have constant stiffness and pain in your finger and thumb joints, that doesn’t respond to painkillers and lasts more than 2 weeks, you should seek professional advice. You can cause further damage to your joints if Arthritis is left untreated.

Does cold weather affect arthritis?

People tend to have their arthritis worsen during the winter than the warmer months, as colder weather can make the condition feel more prominent, because pain and stiffness worsen which leads to discomfort.

How do I know if it’s arthritis or stiffness from the cold?

In the winter, you should look at the pattern of symptoms and more chronic pain. If you feel pain or stiffness that’s due to the cold, it will usually ease up once you warm up or do any activity.

However, if you have a joint ache that lasts for more than two weeks or your pain isn’t responding to any simple painkillers, then it’s important to see a professional and get it checked.
Is hand arthritis common?

The hands are one of the most common places to have arthritis, and it is especially felt more when it is cold.

Is there anything I can do to lessen the effects of arthritis?

To lessen the effects of cold weather affecting arthritis, it is important to keep active and have a balanced, nutritious diet.

Vitamin D levels can affect arthritis, so it’s worth getting your levels checked. Being on vitamin D supplements, or increasing your diet amount of vitamin D in the winter will also help. Alongside vitamin D, calcium is essential as well.

Staying warm is also key to ease the discomfort of arthritis in the winter. Wear gloves, use hand warmers and wrap up warm.

Why staying active is important

If you exercise regularly, you’ll notice a difference when you’re less active in the winter. It’s important to stay active because, without activity, you’ll get stiffness. And unfortunately, with stiffness often comes more discomfort.

Low impact exercise is best such as swimming, yoga and tai chi. Make sure to stay warm before going outside or doing training in the winter, and as with all seasons.


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