The change of seasons often brings health problems with it. For example, pain in the joints of the foot may appear. And in this case, it is necessary to visit a doctor, since the body can signal “malfunctions” of the musculoskeletal system. About, why such a “check-in” is needed in the fall and how to prepare for the cold, told Olga Chizhevskaya, Executive Director of the Podiatry League Association of Medical Centers and Doctors.
“Forecasters” of the weather
With the sharp onset of cold weather, many of us involuntarily become “barometers”: better than any weather forecast, rain and snow can be predicted by how it starts to “twist” the knee or wrist, or “break” the bones of the feet, the expert says. Both orthopedists and podiatrists say that the most frequent visits in the autumn period are complaints of pain in the joints: hips, knees, ankles. It is precisely those departments of the musculoskeletal system that suffer the maximum load. “Most often, the consequences of old injuries or chronic diseases remind of themselves, but there is always a chance to “discover” something new, for example, it is during the off-season that joint diseases such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis can manifest (appear for the first time). , gout and others. Therefore, it is very important not to endure pain, and even with slight discomfort, seek advice from specialists, because this can be a signal of a serious pathology and lead to irreversible consequences, ”warns Olga Chizhevskaya.
Why this happens in the fall: theories
Theory number one is that we … are freezing, notes Olga Chizhevskaya. And the body tries to support the main organs – the heart and lungs – by directing increased blood flow there and leaving the joints on a “starvation diet”. “Under the influence of low temperatures, all the tissues surrounding the joint narrow, the joint fluid becomes thicker, and its shock-absorbing properties are sharply reduced. Our movements become constrained, we feel a certain stiffness in the joints, discomfort and pain, the risk of damage to the articular cartilage increases, ”says the specialist.
Another reason is the decrease in the synthesis of vitamin D in the autumn-winter period: the bones become thinner and weaker, the joints wear out faster. Also, according to one theory, seasonal allergies can be the cause of joint pain. It is believed that the main triggers of food allergies, which can “manifest” pain in large joints, according to Olga Chizhevskaya, are foods such as:
- fatty acid,
- refined carbohydrates,
The most admired theory is the influence of atmospheric pressure. Indeed, in autumn, atmospheric pressure drops are quite strong, which, in turn, causes blood pressure jumps, and then the “signal” is transmitted to the joints, blood circulation is disturbed. “If the joint is already affected by any degenerative changes, there are signs of cartilage abrasion, then an exacerbation of the inflammatory process and an exacerbation of the pain syndrome will follow,” emphasizes Olga Chizhevskaya.
Prevent and/or alleviate
Excess weight is an additional burden on the joints, therefore, Olga Chizhevskaya recommends that you lead an active lifestyle, do exercises and properly organize your diet, be sure to add vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, to your diet. “Remember, it is only well absorbed when combined with vitamin D, found in almonds, soy and dairy products. Also, do not forget about other substances necessary for the health of bones and joints: collagen (marmalade, jelly, jelly, etc.) and glucosamine (beef, poultry, seafood, etc.),” the specialist notes.
If you are worried about constant pain, do not postpone a visit to the doctor: the body reports a failure, and diagnostics may show that it is not the joints that are “to blame”, but other parts of the musculoskeletal system. “So, very often, pain in the knee, hip joint can be the result of foot deformity, and first of all, the cause will need to be corrected. In this case, the doctor’s recommendations will be aimed at reducing the load on the foot, at restoring the congruence (correspondence of the shapes of the surfaces of the bones) of its joints and muscle work: physical strengthening exercises, manual therapy, recommendations for choosing the “right” shoes and the appointment of individual full contact orthoses. Yes, with the help of properly selected and fully individualized insoles, you can get rid of pain in the foot, knee, lower back, and even headaches, ”explains Olga Chizhevskaya.
Be vigilant, the expert advises, listen to the state of your body. When going for a walk, dress warmly, take a thermos of hot tea with you to keep warm. And then autumn will pass without pain.