Air conditioning and ankle/foot pain and stiff knees
Since we began having super hot weather in Ga and I have the AC going strong, I've noticed that my knees get really stiff and my ankles and feet are very stiff and sore when I sit down for than a few minutes. I've had 2 knee surgeries on my left knee (ACL reconstruction and cartilege repair) and I've broken the left ankle and the right tibia up near my knee. I figure I've got some arthritis starting up in the knees for sure and maybe the left ankle. If I go back outside in the heat, it relieves the pain but its uncomfortably hot.
Does anyone else think the AC agravates their joint pain? Or, do I have something else going on? I've started wearing my Ugg knock-offs around the house to keep my ankles and feet warm. I would turn up the thermostat but my husband and daughter would not be happy about that.
Yup! You were right to suspect arthritis! That's what is is. It's normal after any injury for "scar tissue" or impaired circulation to affect the area so the joint is not the same as before. Not much you can do about that but keeping the joint warm will help of course. But really, don't worry about it...it's normal...it's part of aging....just get up and go....lots of us creak and walk stiffly when we get up!! Join the club!! Keep moving! That's the good part.
And this is easy to live with in the grand scheme of things!!!
What you describe is pretty much what I get in my hands during the summer in super air conditioned places. (I've actually been known to carry around fingerless gloves in the spring/summer when going to classes, because some of the rooms are so super-cooled that I can't write otherwise.)
I have confirmed arthritis in both hands due to one of the systemic forms of arthritis. (As opposed to injury-related or use-related osteoarthritis.)
In addition to the gloves, I also might take an NSAID, or go through a routine of gentle stretching and movement to help encourage circulation and disperse swelling.
I also have arthritis in my ankles, knees, and hips but they're not as sensitive to cold places so much as just lack of movement - so when sitting I tend to shift around a lot, maybe straighten one leg some and flex the other more, shift my weight to one side of my butt more than the other, then reverse, etc. All very small relatively unobtrusive movements, but they keep things moving.
If it's a real problem for you, you could also look into neoprene wraps. They're relatively easy to come by (most large supermarkets around here stock them) and while I think they do exactly nothing to help the arthritis from a support pov, they do hold in your body heat, which helps.
(I will also add, regarding NSAIDs, that I've read that you tend to get better results for chronic arthritis if you take the NSAID routinely as per the dosing instructions, rather than only taking it when it hurts. I don't take NSAIDS all day, everyday, but if I've done something that I know is going to have particularly P.O.d a joint - like spending a day walking around on pavement in shoes without enough cushioning, which is hell on my knees and ankles - then I do take aspirin regularly for the next couple of days - every 6 hours or whatever - rather than just when it hurts.)
WHAT!??? and pass up the opportunity to bitch & moan like the rest of us!!???
I don't think so!!!
Getting old ain't for sissies!!!
I've had arthritis since I was 10, so I was more concerned with keeping up with the other kids.
(That said, I get along great with old folks these days, 'cause we can all sit around and bitch and moan about aches and pains together. 10+ years of arthritis = lots of aches and pains to moan about.)
That said, I don't see a lot of reason to put up with being in pain and grumpy if something little will help out.
(Actually, it occurs that possibly instead of buying neoprene wraps, someone with a horse might find an old polo wrap or two cut down would do the job just as well, provided you know how to properly wrap the joint in question. Heck, for my wrists in the past I've used cheap tube socks - cut the toe off, cut a little notch for a thumb hole, put it on, then fold the elasticated cuff part back over the whole thing so you have two layers of sock over the wrist, with the stretchy layer on top to hold everything in place.)
I hear ya! I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I'm lucky to have summers off b/c the air conditioning KILLS me! Especially dealing with the changes between sweltering and freezing.
Have you tried any of the Back on Track items? They have gloves and socks, clothes, and blankets. The fabric is infused with ceramic, so that the infrared heat from your body is reflected back to yourself naturally.
I even sleep under the BOT horse back pad - yep, stole it from my mare! Makes a HUGE difference with morning stiffness - especially in my back and hips!!
The other things I have done to help with my stiffness from sitting and air conditioning - one of the PTs got me a little stool for my feet that makes me sit correctly, with 90 degree bends in hips/knees/ankles.
She also has me sit on one of those cushions - it is rubber and has pimples all over it and is filled with air. It supposedly helps with posture, but also seems to provide small differences in my position, so I don't get "locked in place" like the Tin Man!!
Lastly, always a sweater, a lap blanket, good boot socks, and NEVER wear sandals or go without socks!!
Wanted to add that my hip has been very sore, to the point of causing burning in my thigh. I usually respond well to ibuprofen, but I just tried two tried Aleve (naxproxen), and felt much better almost immediately.