Arthritis: The environmental change which might make it worse – ‘help relieve your pain’

Ruth asks This Morning doctor about milk helping arthritis

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Arthritis is a broad term that describes more than 100 different joint conditions. Unfortunately arthritis can be very painful for some people with the condition, and may impact people of all ages. Arthritis is a disease that affects your joints and usually involves inflammation or degeneration of your joints.

Certain types of weather might make arthritis worse, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

The site says: “Some people find that arthritis feels worse during certain types of weather. Humidity and cold are two common triggers of joint pain.”

It suggests that there are a variety of reasons why this might happen.

It might be because people tend to be less active in rainy seasons and the wintertime, and also as the cold and damp can “stiffen joints and aggravate arthritis”.

Cleveland Clinic says other theories suggest that barometric pressure, or the pressure of the air around us, may have some effect on arthritis.

Research published by Manchester University indicates that people with long-term health conditions can be up to 20 percent more likely to suffer from pain on days that are humid and windy with low atmospheric pressure.

“Dressing warmly, exercising inside or using heat therapy may help relieve your pain,” says the Cleveland Clinic.

Therapists can also teach you how to adjust your daily activities to lessen arthritis pain.

There are however some lifestyle habits and changes that might help manage symptoms.

These include eating a healthy diet and managing your weight. If you are overweight it can increase complications of arthritis and contribute to joint pain.

“It’s very important to eat a healthy, balanced diet if you have arthritis. Eating healthily will give you all the nutrients you need and help you maintain a healthy weight,” says the NHS.

You should also try to quit smoking. “Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase arthritis pain,” says the Mayo Clinic.

The symptoms you experience will vary depending on the type you have.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis treatments include lifestyle changes, medicines and surgery.

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis aims to slow the condition’s progress and minimise joint inflammation. This helps prevent joint damage.

“If you have pain in or around a joint or joints that doesn’t go away after a few days, you should see a doctor.

“Finding out what’s causing your pain is key to finding the right treatment and self-help options,” says Versus Arthritis charity.

As well as causing pain and stiffness, inflammation can cause permanent damage to a joint, so starting effective treatment early on can help to minimise damage.

“It’s important to see a doctor if you get any new symptoms or if you have any trouble with drugs you’re taking,” the charity adds.

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