Prevent joint stiffness and seasonal aches this winter

During colder weather, the aches and pains in our joints grows more prominent as the chill inflames the stiffness in our bodies. You don’t have to let this pain hinder your ability to enjoy normal activities.

Arthritis is very common, but some do not fully understand the disease, an informal way of referring to joint pain. Anyone can have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. Common symptoms are swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. It can lead to the inability to do certain activities, and the cold weather inflames these symptoms.

Cold weather is specifically worse for arthritis sufferers who work outside or if they have specific injuries. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis may not react well to sudden weather changes, and many believe their joints predict the changes in the weather. One study has proven that people in barometric pressure chambers experience more aches and pains with the pressure is lower.

Nevertheless, you can prevent this joint stiffness and seasonal aches and pains by following a few simple steps this winter.

  • Maintain an active lifestyle – Stretch, make a trip to the local gym or practice any activity you find enjoyable. Moving for at least 30 minutes a day can keep us healthy and feeling more agile. Exercising inside will also keep you warm and active throughout the chilly season.
  • Dress as warmly as possible – Dress with proper footwear, headwear and clothing that protects your body from the elements.
  • Don’t stay out in the cold for too long – If you can, go indoors for small intervals of time to take breaks from the cold weather.
  • Hydrate – Even mild dehydration could make you more sensitive to pain.
  • Practice a healthy diet – With an active lifestyle and a healthy diet, you could see an improvement in your joint pain.
  • Use warm water to comfort you – Soaking in a bath or swimming in a heated pool will help soothe your joints.
  • Take Vitamin D or Fish Oil – Being deficient in Vitamin D raises the risk for osteoporosis. During the winter, you might need a supplement of Vitamin D to get your recommended amount. Fish oil will help decrease inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation recommends up to 2.6 grams of fish oil capsules twice a day, but be sure to ask your doctor what is right for you.
  • Get a massage or see a chiropractor – You can indulge on a massage or feel the relief of chiropractic care this holiday season. The practitioners will target the painful areas and work them until your pain subsides or disappears altogether.
  • Finally, drink a warm cup of tea, coffee or hot cocoa

You can remain active without the interruption of your joint pain. Enjoy the cold weather!