Joints that get weaker as it gets colder, 4 musculoskeletal disorders to watch out for
Winter is fast approaching. Cold weather makes you cringe, and if you keep bad posture, your muscles contract due to the low temperature, which puts a strain on your body. Let’s take a look at musculoskeletal disorders that appear easily or worsen in winter.
Cold causes ‘neck disc’
On a cold day, you will walk around with your shoulders shrugged unknowingly. This posture is very bad for the cervical spine.
If you have a stiff neck on a cold day, numbness in one arm or hand, or weakness in your arms and legs, and feel numb, you may suspect a cervical disc herniation, commonly referred to as a herniated disc in the neck.
For neck health in winter, you need to be careful about squatting posture. When the weather gets colder, you will unknowingly shrug your neck, and if you continue in this position, it can damage muscles and ligaments, causing pain or worsening the existing neck disc.
The neck is the weakest part of our body’s ability to regulate body temperature. When going out, prepare thoroughly to maintain body temperature with a scarf, hat, or mask. When going out, wash your hair and dry it completely. to bloom upright. Neck disc has room for improvement even if you straighten your posture. It is important to avoid the turtle-neck posture, in which the head is usually bowed and the head is forward, and to consciously maintain the correct posture.
In winter, ‘lumbar disc’ that comes without notice
Along with a disc in the neck, you need to be careful about herniated disc and herniated disc. If you have a herniated disc, you may experience pain in winter as your back muscles become stiff at low temperatures.
Early treatment for back pain is very important, so if symptoms develop, you should first lie down and rest or apply a warm compress without overdoing it. Reducing the amount of activity unconditionally strains the muscles, so it is recommended not to neglect the exercise to warm the body and strengthen the back muscles.
In addition, an acute herniated disc may appear as a result of a fall while enjoying winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing. The impact can cause pain as the intervertebral discs between the vertebrae escape, and it can put a lot of strain on the joints or muscles during difficult movements. It is recommended to find out and get an accurate diagnosis, and if necessary, get medication and physical therapy to relieve symptoms.
Frequent shoulder pain in winter ‘frozen shoulder’
A phenomenon in which the range of motion of the shoulder becomes narrow in the 50s is often referred to as a frozen shoulder. Medically, it is called frozen dog, and narrowly it is also called adhesive capsulitis. It is a phenomenon in which the shoulder joint cannot be used freely due to limited range of motion. It mainly appears on one shoulder and it is difficult to raise the arm. Even with MRI, CT, or ultrasonography, there are no special abnormalities, so it is important to diagnose by a specialist.
If it is not a severe frozen shoulder, heat treatment can relieve symptoms. Apply a hot compress 2 to 3 times a day for every 10 minutes, and once the body is warmed up, the range of motion of the shoulder joint increases by 10 degrees even if there is a problem with the joint capsule. If you increase the shoulder range of motion in this warm state, symptoms may improve. Physiotherapy along with heat therapy in hospitals is based on this principle. It depends on the degree, but if it is not possible to widen the range of joint activity through physical therapy, an arthroscopy is used to widen it.
If your knee is unusually cold this winter, you may have ‘degenerative knee arthritis’
In simple terms, degenerative arthritis is a disease in which the cartilage wears out due to excessive use of the joints, exposing the bones, causing pain and limiting movement. The most common site for degenerative arthritis is the knee.
This is because the knee is the largest and most mobile joint in our body. Osteoarthritis of the knee becomes more severe when the weather changes. In particular, the colder the winter, the more sore the knee appears, and the symptoms gradually worsen. This is because when the temperature drops, blood vessels constrict, and muscles and joints become stiff, which intensifies the pain.
If you feel any abnormalities in the knee joint, warm the affected area with a warm compress or half-bath so that the muscles or ligaments are well relaxed without tightness, and light stretching and strength training should be continued to strengthen the muscles around the joint.
In winter, when the temperature drops sharply and cold winds blow like these days, you need to be especially careful about musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, when the amount of time exposed to sunlight is reduced, and vitamin D, which is essential for skeletal health, is insufficient, joint health is inevitably worse. In fact, a study on the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in orthopedic patients found that 91% of patients had vitamin D deficiency. As much as possible, exercise during the day and perform moderate outdoor activities to measure health and prevent musculoskeletal disorders.