Wuhan Evening News (Reporter Jiang Mengqing, Correspondent Hu Mengzeng Xiaoxiao) With the cold wave coming, many people have suffered from "old cold legs" again, experiencing knee discomfort, joint pain, swollen and stiff legs, and increasingly inflexible joints.

Data released by the National Health Commission show that the overall prevalence of osteoarthritis in my country reaches 15%, and conservatively estimates that there are more than 100 million patients.

How to effectively protect joint health and relieve discomfort?

Zhang Zhiwen, deputy chief physician of the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology of Hubei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Hospital Affiliated to Hubei University of Traditional Chinese Medicine), offers advice for everyone.

  "Arthritis is actually just like our cold. It is called arthritis when it occurs, and we usually call it unstable knee joints." Zhang Zhiwen said that the legs maintain stability through muscles. When the stability is not good, the function and structure will not be good. If they match, inflammation will form, which is osteoarthritis.

Typical symptoms include feeling stiff in the morning, pain and discomfort when getting up after sitting for a long time, and the pain is significantly relieved after moving for a period of time, but the pain worsens with further movement.

  Zhang Zhiwen said that although cold stimulation is not a causative factor of arthritis, it can induce or aggravate the pain of arthritis patients.

This is because when the soft tissue of the joint is stimulated by cold, the sensitivity will increase and the pain threshold will decrease, thus making the person's pain worse.

In addition, when the legs catch cold, the blood vessels around the knee joints constrict, resulting in poor blood circulation. The acidic substances produced by muscle consumption cannot be metabolized in time, which can also cause pain.

  How to avoid or improve existing joint pain during the persistent low temperature weather?

Zhang Zhiwen gave three suggestions:

  1. Keep key locations warm.

Wear thicker socks in areas where the skin is thin and the blood supply is not abundant, such as the knees and ankles, and knee pads and high-top shoes.

When wearing knee pads, the tightness should be adjusted so that they fit closely on the knee joint but should not be too tight.

  2. Properly exercise the muscle strength of the lower limbs.

When joint pain occurs, the simplest way to relieve pain is to push and massage your patella up and down, left and right.

You can also do some relatively gentle training such as Baduanjin.

  3. Apply hot compress to areas prone to coldness and injury.

Apply hot water bottles, hot towels, etc. to the upper edge of the patella of the knee joint, the back of the calf, the inner thigh and the inner side of the knee joint to promote local blood circulation and reduce inflammation.

Please note that the temperature of the hot compress should not be too high to prevent skin burns.

Patients with thrombophlebitis, peripheral vascular disease, and skin damage should not use hot compresses.

  Zhang Zhiwen reminded that if the patient's joint pain persists and cannot be relieved, or even joint swelling, morning stiffness and deformation occur, he or she should go to the hospital in time to determine the cause of the joint swelling and pain and provide timely treatment.