Tips to Relieve Winter Arthritis Pain
If you have arthritis you know that weather changes can cause their joint pain to flare up. When winter arrives, cold air can make joints stiffer and therefore more difficult to move. If you are suffering from intense chronic pain, what steps can you take to reduce discomfort?
Dress for the Weather
If conditions are expected to be blistering cold, leave the house in more than a jacket. Dress in layers, cover your hands in warm gloves with room for movement, wrap a cozy scarf around your neck and use leg warmers that go over the knees. It’s better to be overdressed for winter weather.
Stay Active Indoors
Winter weather often prevents us from going outdoors to be active, but what about indoor exercise? You do not need a treadmill or elliptical to combat a sedentary lifestyle. A practice like yoga is relaxing and helps stretch tight muscles. Our physical therapists can also develop an individualized exercise program that is low-impact for your joints, but still effective.
Take a Soothing Swim
Find a local heated indoor swimming pool to do laps. The warm water will help soothe aching joints, while you get the exercise your body needs to stay energized during the dreary winter season. You can experience the same relief from a warm bath or a dip in the hot tub. Before you go outside, make sure your body temperature has normalized.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
According to a study published in Experimental Physiology, mild dehydration could be a cause of body pain. Staying hydrated will help motivate you to stay active and supplement the loss of sweat and other fluids. In addition, drinking hot liquids like herbal tea can help combat chronic inflammation associated with arthritis.
Lose the Holiday Weight
Especially for people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees, weight loss can result in decreased pain. When there is less body weight applied to these sensitive areas, joint flare-ups not only improve in cold weather, but year-round! This holiday season, keep your indulgences light and try to maintain a balanced plate at all festive gatherings.