The connection between cold weather and joint pain may sound like an old wives’ tale, but for years researchers have studied the correlation between changes in temperature and health. In a study conducted by the European Project on Osteoarthritis in 2014, 67% of participants claimed a sensitivity that caused them to experience joint pain more often in the winter months. If you tend to ache more when it’s cold, it’s important to find relief in the midst of holiday activity and adjusted work schedules that require you to do more before you leave on vacation.
Depending on the severity of your joint pain, there are things you can do to ease soreness in your hands, knees, and shoulders. Take the time to prepare for cold weather and it won’t impede your work or time with family and friends this holiday season.
Stay active. It’s tempting to use a dip in weather as an excuse to hold off on exercise. Even mild exercise, however, can help with joint aches. Take time to stretch before a short walk around the neighborhood to admire holiday lights, or map out a few laps around the mall during a lull. If you work out regularly outdoors and can’t take the cold, consider adjusting to more in a gym or at home.
Bundle up. The few minutes you spend putting on gloves, thicker socks, and a heavier coat can make a difference when you suffer from joint pain. Protect yourself and avoid exposing hands, knees and ankles in low temperatures. You may think it inconvenient to have to remove and put on gloves as you commute, but you may feel better for doing it.
Drink up. Stay hydrated in winter…and throughout the year. Among other benefits, drinking plenty of water helps reduce joint inflammation. Carry a bottle with you as you exercise and commute and watch your intake.
Put on the heat. A heating pad, used in short intervals, can help with pain. Be mindful, though. Prolonged use of heat may cause a burn or other discomfort.
When you need relief from inflamed joints year-round, Bon Secours VOSS offers a full continuum of care designed to treat your individual pain. While surgery is an option, it may not be the right choice for you. Our experienced staff can see to your needs so you can enjoy a life free of discomfort. Contact us today to learn more.