Over 40 million Americans suffer from arthritis. There are several different types of arthritis, with their own signs and symptoms. If you have any form of joint pain it could get worse in the fall and winter season.
Let me tell you, you don’t have to suffer in silence. You can do something about it.
If you regularly suffer from joint pain in winter, here are a few things you can do to reduce your pain.
But first, let’s discuss what causes joint pain as the temperature drops.
What Causes Joint Pain in Winter?
Yes, there is some truth to the old wives’ tale that achy joints are a sign rain or snow is on its way. If you suffer from arthritis, you know it to be true. Even one study revealed that patients with chronic pain felt an increase in pain with weather changes. Most of these patients even reported that they could feel pain before rain or cold weather.
As it turns out, however, the pain associated with weather changes has more to do with a drop in barometric pressure. In laypersons terms, barometric pressure is the force onto a surface by the atmosphere at any point. When storms pop up, barometric pressure drops.
Obviously, this impacts the pressure on the body. In fact, this can cause the body’s tissues to expand which in turn places pressure on nerves. The result is pain. This means you don’t have to live in a wet, rainy climate to feel pain with weather changes. Anywhere the weather changes can lead to serious pain for arthritis suffers.
Now that you know why it happens, let’s discuss a few ways to reduce joint pain in winter.
Wear Appropriate Clothing for the Temperature
The cold weather causes pain on your joints. One of the easiest ways to offset it is to wear the right clothing. Some cold weather clothing tips include:
- Wear layered outfits. Layers keep heat in and keep you warm.
- Protect your neck and head with a scarf and beanie.
- Always wear gloves to protect your hands from the shocking cold.
- Invest in waterproof boots and socks to avoid damp feet.
Keep Exercising, Just Do It Indoors
Once you’ve stocked your closet with warm layers, the next tip is to keep exercising.
Exercising through pain does not sound enticing. But my advice is to keep exercising through the discomfort.
Sure, if you are someone who loves to exercise outdoors that could be difficult. Cold, damp weather causes changes to your plans. On a biological level, we want to hibernate. The problem with giving into that is that your joints will become stiff and even more painful.
The appropriate type of exercise may help reduce arthritis pain. Its also a great antidote to fatigue, and it is great for increasing flexibility and strength. So, what type of exercises are great during the colder months? Here are some of my favorites.
-Indoor walking. Avoid walking outdoors in cold weather because that could increase pain.
-Try swimming. Swimming is a great exercise for stiff joints and it’s not weight bearing.
-Yoga. Yoga increases flexibility and is easy on painful joints. If you are new to yoga, find a gentle beginner’s class or a restorative style.
-Stretching. Like yoga, stretching and even some light exercise is a great way to manage joint pain in winter.
Like exercise, hydration is crucial to reducing joint pain. Staying hydrated helps you stay active. Mild dehydration can make you more sensitive to pain. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day to offset the pain that comes with dehydration in the colder months.
Take a Warm Bath
In addition to exercise and hydration, you can also take a warm Epsom Salts bath to relax your body and ease those joints. You can also add your favorite essential oil to the bath to help relax. The biggest tip is to not get out of the bath and then go straight into the cold temperature. Let your temperature normalize and enjoy the relief of a warm bath.
Take High-Quality Fish Oil
Another tip is to start taking fish oil during the fall and winter. Fish oil has omega-3 fatty acids that have some benefit because they reduce inflammation. Talk to your doctor about which supplements are best to reduce pain.
Get a Regular Lymphatic Massage
Another tip is to get a regular lymphatic massage. A massage is not a luxury. For individuals who have arthritis pain, massages can help.
I have personally witnessed the healing power of manual lymphatic massage therapy with my own mother. For over 35 years I watched her suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. She was offered little relief through prescription steroids. Myself and our entire family were helpless to help as her health declined and her mobility decreased. Along with it, so did her quality of life. But I was determined to help her.
That’s when I began studying manual lymphatic massage therapy. My training revealed the benefits of this practice for people like my mother. As I applied what I learned to her body, the difference it made in her pain and mobility was miraculous! I massaged her feet and hands and for the first time in years, she was able to brush her own hair. I can still remember the joy on her face. Since then, I’ve witnessed the same results on countless clients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
That’s why I recommend this practice for anyone suffering from either illness. Invest in an hour-long massage once every week for eight weeks to get the full benefit
Want more tips? Then I highly recommend giving the following posts a read-through so you can feel great this winter!