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Whether you’re a snowboarder, skier, ice skater, or snowman builder, winter turns the tri-state area into a hub of activity for young and old alike.
But if you have arthritis, you may be less than enthusiastic about the cold days ahead. If your arthritic joints freeze up in the winter, there are ways to free them up and ease the pain even when winter hits.
Some people swear they can predict a storm or chilly weather because their arthritic joints act up and become more painful. For many years, medical professionals shrugged that off as an old wive’s tale, but studies show there may be more to it.
Although the connection isn’t clear and more research is necessary, there’s evidence that increased pain in your arthritic joints may be able to predict changes in weather, including air pressure, windy conditions, and relative humidity.
These weather variables don’t cause arthritis, but they can make your symptoms worse. However, it appears that lower temperatures aren’t the primary culprit, but rather, it’s the change in barometric pressure that gives your bones their predictive abilities.
At The Well for Health, our providers can offer the following cold-weather tips for arthritis sufferers.
You lose most of your body heat through your head, so keeping it covered can keep the warmth inside.
Prevent your joints from freezing up by giving them a little extra coverage. If you have arthritis in your hands, don’t go out without your gloves. If arthritis plagues your knees, wear a soft brace or flannel-lined jeans to keep them warm. Compression gloves and socks can keep you warm and ease pain by encouraging good blood flow.
If it’s too cold outside to continue with your favorite type of exercise, don’t just stop moving — change your routine and adopt some indoor activities, such as indoor swimming, yoga, dancing, or walking around an indoor mall at a peppy pace.
Even if it’s chilly, go outside when the sun is shining to soak up some vitamin D. When you’re running low on vitamin D, your sensitivity to pain increases, and inflammatory types of arthritis flare-up.
With added items on your to-do list, parties to plan and attend, navigating family relationships, and an uptick in cooking and shopping, the holidays can be stressful. Unfortunately, that’s bad news for your arthritis. Stress exacerbates arthritis, regardless of the weather. Manage your pain by cutting back on your responsibilities and practicing deep breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation.
You don’t have to deal with winter arthritis pain alone — we can help. We offer effective treatments to get you through the cold months and beyond.
To learn more about cold-weather arthritis care, book an appointment online or over the phone with The Well for Health today.