5 Joint Pain Problems Santa Claus will have this Christmas!

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Can you believe its been another year? Another year of stress and wear and tear on your body! Even the best and fittest of us as we age will begin to feel the effects of Joint Pain. So what can we do about it at this time of the year in the UK?

 

 

 

So, Santa Claus is apparently not going to have much fun this Christmas sending gifts and joy to the world!

Well, he may try to put a smile on his face, but it might be difficult with all of his joint problems. You see they have accumulated over time, and he refuses leave the North Pole to get an appointment with his doctor!

Even mighty and immortal Santa Claus is having really bad problems that will affect us all as we grow older if we don’t prevent them and deal with them before they get worse. So lets help him this Christmas with a list of his potential Joint Problems!

 

Santas’ Problem #1. Knee pain caused by being overweight

As Santa grew older, he became a little more lazy and  and started eating more and more convenience (fast) foods. Besides, his metabolic system no longer works the same way, and all of this has combined to make him overweight. This is a common problem, and you don’t have to be older to experience obesity. Even children are now adding up to the trend, and what an unhealthy trend it is…

Being overweight is a real problem in the UK, and it has reached far higher proportions than expected. It comes with multiple health problems, including a significant increase in cardiovascular risk, and a staggering rise in our circulating cytokines. They are inflammatory markers that trigger allergic and autoimmune responses and may contribute to worsening arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

Moreover, overweight and obesity have a mechanical impact on the articulations, especially that of the knee. That’s why Santa is having problems this Christmas, mainly because he no longer can walk long distances, and he’s had to figure out an alternative way to bring himself down the chimney.

 

Santas’ Problem #2.   Poor posture and back pain

Santa Claus has been reporting back pain for many years now, but they are becoming more prevalent and intense. Since he is becoming a sedentary older adult and only steps out of his house at Christmas, his back is suffering from sitting all the time and adopting a bad posture.

Sitting for a very prolonged time creates ongoing pressure in the lumbar discs and the lower back. When it is combined with alignment problems and a bad posture, it’s the perfect recipe for chronic back pain. Between the discs, there is a cushion or support called intervertebral disc. It is made of a viscoelastic material that makes your spine flexible.

Our Very British Queuing Santas

 

Sitting all the time squeezes these intervertebral discs for a prolonged time and may start to distort them and create lesions. They separate your spinal bones and let your nerves pass in between, so if they are gone, you will suffer from nerve compression, a source of intense and ongoing pain. It might just be time to straighten up your posture!

So, we should tell Santa he needs to sit comfortably, but that doesn’t mean crouching in his seat. Sitting straight, maintaining a good posture, and doing exercise every once in a while will definitely help.

 

Santas’ Problem #3.   Shoulder and neck pain from carrying weight unevenly

Another problem Santa will have this Christmas is related to his bag. Have you realized he is always carrying his bag on his right shoulder? We tend to do many things with our dominating hand, and carrying weight is one of them. However, if Santa keeps carrying weight unevenly, he will make his problem worse.

 

Using one side of the body over the other does not have short-term consequences. But if you keep doing it for a prolonged time, you will suffer from muscle and joint problems. They are caused by many different factors, including muscle asymmetry, overuse injuries to your articulations, and posture problems.

Muscle asymmetry is common, even in golf players who try to stay fit. Even they need to address the problem of using one side of the body over the other to prevent muscle and joint lesions.

Overuse injuries are caused by using too much the same articulation or muscle, and in older people, it may even lead to overuse fractures. Posture problems may arise, especially if we are carrying weight on one side all the time. Santa should be looking into seeing a Chiropractor or Osteopath for neck pain.

So, a piece of advice for Santa this Christmas is to distribute his workload more evenly.

 

Santas’ Problem #4.   Joint pain worsening in cold weather

Santa loves the North Pole and its weather, and only comes down to the UK during winter. What he doesn’t realize is that being in the cold all day and night is making his joint pain worse.

It is not completely clear why cold weather aggravates joint pain, but there are at least two theories. One of them suggests that when it is cold outside, your body tries to conserve heat and directs the blood flow to the internal organs. The articulations of the limbs constrict and become stiff. Another theory suggests that barometric pressure in cold weather triggers an inflammatory response in the joints. Santa should also check why his bones ache in cold weather.

Whichever explanation sounds more reasonable, the truth remains that Santa will need to dress well for cold weather if he wants to complete all of his homework on Christmas Eve.

 

Santas’ Problem #5.   Early morning stiffness

Santa Claus has been reporting a new symptom recently. He says he’s waking up with general discomfort in all of his articulations and early morning stiffness. It only happens right after waking up, and he says he gets better after some time. However, it seems like not moving his articulations is the real problem because sitting for too long to watch a movie or inspecting the creations of his toy-making machine makes him feel stiff when he finally stands up. Mrs Claus has been disappointed with him recently….

It would be a good idea for Santa to do a few stretches after getting out of bed, stay hydrated to maintain joint lubrication, and get regular exercise, but not too much that his joints start to hurt. It will be also an excellent idea to schedule an appointment with a doctor, because morning stiffness is a common symptom in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and we will need to rule out that problem.

So, if Santa doesn’t make it for Christmas Eve, maybe he just needs some additional time to complete his work and overcome his new joint pain problems. He wants you to know that you’ve been a good boy, and he will do whatever it takes to get to you in time. HO HO HO!

 

 

References:

Tukker, A., Visscher, T. L. S., & Picavet, H. S. J. (2009). Overweight and health problems of the lower extremities: osteoarthritis, pain and disability. Public health nutrition, 12(3), 359-368.

Williams, M. M., Hawley, J. A., & McKENZIE, R. A. (1991). A comparison of the effects of two sitting postures on back and referred pain. Spine, 16(10), 1185-1191.

Warden, S. J., Burr, D. B., & Brukner, P. D. (2006). Stress fractures: pathophysiology, epidemiology, and risk factors. Current osteoporosis reports, 4(3), 103-109.

Timmermans, E. J., Schaap, L. A., Herbolsheimer, F., Dennison, E. M., Maggi, S., Pedersen, N. L., … & Sánchez-Martínez, M. (2015). The influence of weather conditions on joint pain in older people with osteoarthritis: results from the European project on OSteoArthritis. The Journal of rheumatology, 42(10), 1885-1892.

Westhoff, G., Buttgereit, F., Gromnica-Ihle, E., & Zink, A. (2008). Morning stiffness and its influence on early retirement in patients with recent onset rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology, 47(7), 980-984.

WEATHER

 

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