Some might say it’s a superpower to be able to determine the weather, but those with joint pain may argue differently. As the weather turns cold, joints begin to stiffen as tendons, muscles, and tissue swell due to the temperature change. While it may make you want to move somewhere warmer, if you know how to treat your joints in the cold, there’s no reason to move.
Staying hydrated can help those with joint and arthritis pain keep active and feel less sensitive to pain. Drinking plenty of water can also help your blood to naturally thin and travel through your veins and warm your core temperature. Staying hydrated is important in all temperatures and when you are exercising.
Exercising when you are in pain may not seem like a fun-filled experience, but being active can help relieve joint stiffness. Performing aerobic activities like yoga, biking, or even walking around the mall can help strengthen your tendons and lessen your discomfort. Another popular aerobic exercise enjoyed by those with joint pain is swimming; swimming indoors can feel especially nice because the pool is heated and will keep you warm and soothe your joints. It’s important that you don’t over-exhaust yourself when you exercise though--you don’t want to generate any more pain for your body.
Having extra weight can add more stress and pressure to your joints and will increase your pain. Exercising and staying hydrated are important steps to losing weight, and as you do, you will notice your pain decreasing with each pound lost. However, you should consult your doctor about your weight loss journey to discuss a target weight range.
In the winter it’s tough for your body to develop vitamin D because of the lack of sunlight. According to research done in 2015, low vitamin D levels may increase your sensitivity to joint pain. Vitamin D can also help you stay positive and happy, which, when you are in pain, can be difficult. If you are feeling depressed by your joint pain, talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplements or foods.
If your joint pain starts to flare up, layer up. Wearing extra layers, including gloves, scarves, and hats during the colder months can help regulate your body temperature. Layering will allow you to peel back some layers if you begin to feel warm, or do the opposite if you feel cold. It’s important to wear warm clothes to protect your skin and joints from outside exposure.
Let’s face it, you hurt. You feel stiff, sore, and tender at the same time and all you want is a massage. So get one! Treating yourself to a massage once or twice every two weeks can help reduce the pain emanating from your joints and muscles.
With months of cold weather fast approaching eastern Idaho, it can mean weeks of joint pain for those who suffer from it. Knowing how to treat your pain can make it much more bearable and can increase your comfort. Make an appointment today for more ways to treat your joint pain.