Millennium Post

As temperature dips lifestyle diseases shoot up

New Delhi: As winter sets in, large section of people are complaining about joint pains and respiratory problems. What makes the news more alarming is that more and more young people are also suffering from such problems. The number of youths negotiting such problem has risen noticeably in last five years that experts feel is due to the sedentary lifestyles that youngsters are embracing.

"Winters are a painful period for people who suffer from joint inflammation or arthritis. The low temperature causes joints to stiffen up possibly due to increase in inflammation and thickening of the joint fluid says Dr. Maninder Shah Singh, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Indian Spinal Injury Center. He explains that drop of every 10 degree in temperature can cause a significant rise in joint pains. In addition some people are sensitive to cold weather that causes vasoconstriction or reduced blood supply to the peripheral tissues and joints causing increased arthralgia or joint pain."

He further adds that our sedentary lifestyle makes our muscles and other soft

tissues less supple and as a result these tend to stiffen more during winters making movement difficult even in some young people.

Experts further inform that chilly winds increase the chances of a joint problem by as much as 30 to 40 per cent. Physical activities like brisk walks and running are prescribed for patients to avoid such problems. Simple stretching may also help reduce the pain in joints during winter. Those who are elderly and have pre-existing joint problems may opt for simple stretches to avoid stiffness in joints. Yoga and warm baths are particularly effective.

Common causes of joint pain include osteoarthritis, tendinitis, overuse of injured areas suffering from strains and sprains, gout, injuries such as a fracture, bursitis, autoimmune diseases, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and seasonal allergies. "Seasonal allergies, which also peak during winters, is also one of the causes of joint pain in winters. This can cause reactive inflammation in the joint lining called the synovium leading to pain swelling and stiffness," Dr Singh adds.

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