When the temperatures drop, you may often find yourself complaining more about your joint pain.
Low temperature can cause stiffness in your muscles, making it harder to move them. This may be the reason why you tend to perceive more pain in winters.
Synovial fluid (a thick fluid present between your joints to lubricate them) also gets thickened in the cold weather, leading to more pain when moving your joint.
If you get stiff and achy in colder weather, try these tips for relieving your joint pain in winter:
1. Wear Warm Clothes.
When it is cold outside, keep your aching hands warm with gloves, and add extra layers over your knees and legs.
Make sure you keep yourself warm by covering yourself properly. Wear multiple layers if required.
2. Stay Hydrated.
During winters, you lose water through your skin and breaths. As you don’t get sweaty, you are more likely to forget about hydration.
Start drinking plenty of water as this will help you stay active. Even mild dehydration might make you more sensitive to pain.
3. Lose Weight.
Losing weight can be tough in cold weather as it takes longer to burn the fat. But it is very beneficial for managing joint pain.
Losing weight will reduce the stress from your joints. This will help them to move more freely. With the right diet and exercise, you may start to feel better quickly.
4. Exercise Inside.
While it is understandable to avoid exercising because of the winter chill, you should still stay active. The less sedentary you are, the better your physical function is.
Plan and stick to an indoor exercise routine. Use a treadmill and/or an elliptical trainer at your home for better results.
5. Take a Warm Bath.
Warm water helps in relaxing your stiff joints by increasing blood circulation in that area. Take care while handling warm water. Do not make it scalding hot, as you might burn your skin.
After your bath, don’t go right out into the cold. Let your body temperature normalize a bit first.
6. Try Vitamin D Supplements.
Research says that low levels of vitamin D might play a role in how sensitive you are to joint pain. Being deficient in vitamin D also raises the risk for osteoporosis (a condition where your bones become weak and fragile).
You are less likely to get enough vitamin D from its natural source, sunlight, in the winter; so talk to your doctor about your need for supplements.
7. Be Cautious While Going Out.
Winters can increase the risk of falls, especially in places where it snows. To avoid further damage to your joints, wear strong protective gears, customized for your needs.
If you are going outside, pick strong, supportive shoes with good treads and try to walk on a surface that does not look slippery.
8. Change Your Diet.
Your diet plays a major role in how your body functions. By changing your diet, you can help your body heal better.
Add foods like fish oil, avocado, nuts, seeds etc., to your diet. These foods are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and they reduce the pain and swelling in your joints.
9. Get a Massage.
A massage when done correctly and gently can provide temporary relief from joint pain and stiffness. Any type of full-body massage therapy that involves moderate pressure, increases blood circulation and eases tension in your joints, is a good option.
Consult your doctor to make sure the massage is safe for your arthritis and any other health conditions you may have.
10. Try Physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy is a treatment modality to restore, maintain, and make the most of your mobility, function, and well-being. It is performed by physiotherapists.
Along with self-treatment, it is important to consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor may also prescribe over-the-counter painkillers when your joint pain seems to worsen with the weather.
Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.