How to Ease Worsening Winter Joint Pain
Aching joints can cause pain any time of the year, but sensitivity tends to spike when temperatures drop. Winter weather conditions tend to keep people indoors and inactive. Combined with the increased chill, a sedentary lifestyle can worsen joint pain and rheumatic conditions during the winter months.
But the next time you feel a snowfall coming on from the ache in your knee, turn to one of these six reliefs for winter joint pain.
1. Dress Warmly
Wear extra layers in the areas you’re prone to aching joints. An insulated pair of gloves or fleece-lined pants will keep you warm and relieved.
2. Keep Active
A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity revealed that sedentary time in Chicago increased by over three hours between November and June. Staying active is an essential part of fighting joint pain, so pursue indoor activities like the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. If you’re aching but not arthritic, consider yoga or Pilates.
3. Warm Up in Water
Swimming in a heated pool is a great way to get some necessary winter exercise while soothing your bones. Warm baths can also ease the pain, but give your body temperature time to normalize before going outside!
4. Eat Well
Ease aching joints during the cold months with a balanced diet of lean protein, fats and fiber. Drink lots of water and eat at least two portions of fish a week, keeping your saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and sugar intake as low as possible.
Supplements for vitamin D, C and K can sometimes help, as well as fish oil, cod liver oil and some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory options like aspirin. Consult your primary care physician for more information.
5. Treat With a Massage
Winter is especially rough when you have a rheumatic condition. Take this time to treat yourself to a massage to ease cramped muscles, or explore acupuncture for a nontraditional approach to joint pain.
6. Stay Safe
The cold does enough damage to your joints without getting an injury involved. Wear solid and supportive boots when you go out, and be extra careful of ice!