There is an unknown connection between joint pains and weather changes. No sooner the weather starts changing the joint pains to start increasing. And the best proof of it arises with the monsoons. As monsoons arrive, old joint pains, injury pains, etc start aching a little more. The changes in humidity levels in the air and barometric pressure lead to swelling, stiffness and aggravated pain in the muscles.
While not indulging into too many activities, resting calms down the pain, it is also important to do regular exercises and practice stretching exercises to make the muscles strong and flexible and also to have the circulation keep going. Joint pains can be traumatic during the monsoons and so here are some ways to overcome it.
Hot and cold compress
Nothing provides as much relief to the aching joints as the hot and cold compress. As the muscles become sore and ache on a regular basis, taking hot compress or a cold compress or an alternate compress can help soothe the pain! Apply a warm pain relieving oil on the joints with gentle motion and with a hot-gel compress, gently pat the joints to relieve the pain. The warmth of the hot compress is known to take away chronic pain. One can also try alternate hot and cold compress such that it helps in promoting circulation very effectively. And the cold compress is the best when it comes to a fresh injury or discomfort caused during monsoons.
Some Ayurvedic oil treatments work like magic on muscle and joint pains. During the rainy season when you take some time off to tend to the aching joints, consider massaging the area with some special oils. Olive oil is enriched with Vitamin E and is known to cure a lot of pains. Combine it with a few crushed garlic and cloves and warm it up to apply on the pain area. This oil therapy is known to take away the pain and give relief. Cold pressed oils, mustard oil and even Olive Oil Therapy with layers of clothes binding the joints and combined with hot compress helps treat extreme pain. However it is to be noted that massage is not indicated when there is severe signs of inflammation.
Acupuncture and massages
Acupuncture is a technique where very thin needles are inserted on the patient’s body to stimulate specific points that helps to ensure the free flow of energy through the acupuncture meridians. It also helps to recondition the pain pathways to give a permanent relief. For people with joint paints acupuncture is a boon. It is a drug-free way to work on muscles, blood vessels and nerves that affect the pain in the joints. Acupuncture can help minimize the pain and regular massages can help open up the joint movements for energy and strength in the muscles. Massages like Abhyanga or PottaliSweda are great for joint pains. These have to be prescribed by a licensed physician.
Exercises form an essential part of the treatment for joint pains. Indulging into regular morning walks, stretching the muscles, practicing indoor yoga, or specific leg exercises can strengthen the leg muscles and improve the ability of the joints to handle the pressure. With regular exercises and healthy eating, the joint pains become less troubling. However, if you have been experiencing joint pains for a long time now, taking up vigorous exercises is not recommended. It is always better to consult a physiotherapist and follow their routine exercises for pain relief. Regular practice of yoga combined with loosening exercises (sookshmavyayama) are extremely beneficial in preventing and curing common pains.
Vitamin E enriched food
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights and protects the body from free radicals. These free radicals are responsible for a lot of damage to the body muscles and skin cells. A boost in Vitamin E helps alleviate the free radicals from the body and prevents it from further damage. Moreover, Vitamin E is excellent for inflammation, pain, etc. Numerous researchers have proved that Vitamin E has a positive effect on joint pains. Get on a diet that loads up on nuts, avocado, berries, green vegetables, seeds, fish and vegetable oils.
Excess weight can intensify the pain in the joints as the pressure on the joints increase. The muscles sometimes aren’t strong enough to handle body weight and hence the pain. Losing weight organically by conscious eating, exercising and practicing yoga can help in getting relief from the pain. If the weather doesn’t permit going out, just skip out on the junks and practice indoor yoga.
Don’t let the season be a reason for your joint pain. With some little changes in lifestyle, you can cure joint pain by yourself!
( Inputs given by Dr Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director, Atmantan Wellness Centre )