Rheumatism – popular name for rheumatic diseases – affects the bones, joints, muscles and connective tissues and can cause pain, inflammation and joint stiffness, as well as problems with mobility. Many people with rheumatic conditions report that their symptoms get worse during the winter or in cold weather.
But is it true that the cold makes rheumatism worse or is this just a coincidence? The rheumatologist Anna Maura Fernandes spoke with the Life Care to answer this question. Check out!
What is rheumatism? Understand rheumatic diseases!
Doctor Anna Maura Fernandes explains that rheumatism is a set of diseases that affect the locomotor system and are more common in older people. “Rheumatism is a term that covers more than 100 types of diseases that can affect tendons, muscles and joints, but that can also compromise vital organs and structures, such as kidneys, heart, lungs, eyes and skin. These diseases, if not properly treated, can lead to limitations, deformities and serious complications that impact the patient’s quality of life”, says the specialist.
What are the main rheumatic diseases and the causes of the problem?
Although the exact causes of these conditions are still not fully understood, it is believed that the genetics, age and environmental factors can play an important role in their development. There are also examples of conditions that are caused by viral or bacterial infections and by metabolic problems. “The most common rheumatic diseases are osteoarthritis (also known as osteoarthritis), fibromyalgiadrop, tendonitis and bursitis, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritisin addition to other pathologies that affect the spine”, lists the doctor.
Rheumatism: symptoms vary according to the specific disease
Os symptoms of rheumatism they are not always the same. In fact, they change according to the rheumatic disease that the patient has, but some are more frequent and are present in several conditions, such as:
- joint pain;
- feeling of heat in the joint;
- joint stiffness;
- loss of muscle strength;
- strong tiredness.
Is it true that rheumatism can get worse in the cold?
Although many people feel that the disease is worse in the winter, there is no scientific evidence that the symptoms of rheumatism actually get worse at this time of year. However, there is a strong relationship with changing habits in winter and the fact that joints become more contracted. In the cold, people are more shrunken, which makes the joints also more contracted. In addition, patients usually change habits and routines that are important for the control of rheumatic diseases”, says the doctor. The abandonment of the regular practice of physical activities during the winter is an example cited by Anna Maura. “The union of these two factors results in more present pain conditions”, completes the rheumatologist.
Tips to be more comfortable with the arrival of autumn and winter?
There are some tips to alleviate the discomfort caused by the symptoms of rheumatism during the cold season:
- Periodic medical follow-up;
- adoption of preventive measures;
- adequate adherence to the proposed treatments;
- have a physical exercise routine, as it helps strengthen your muscles;
- control body weight.
“If the pain persists despite efforts, it is important to consult the rheumatologist for a new assessment”, recommends the professional.
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