For those who suffer from joint pain, cold weather can make their symptoms worse. For reasons that haven’t quite been proven, cold weather and even rainy conditions can exacerbate existing joint pain.
Your joint nerves may become more sensitive to temperature due to inflammation or scarring. Atmospheric pressure changes may register in the joints and cause tissues to expand, which can increase joint discomfort. In addition, your joint fluid may be thicker in colder weather, which could also cause joint stiffness.
What can you do to improve your joint pain during colder weather? Here are our top tips for managing the joint discomfort brought on by winter.
It’s important to stay active in the colder months, even if it feels difficult to do so due to the colder temperatures and joint pain or stiffness. Exercise can be a beneficial component of your joint care, and doing specific forms of exercise can improve your joint pain even in the cold.
Work with our Atlanta pain management specialists to identify forms of exercise that will be most helpful to you. Lighter exercise such as walking, swimming or biking can improve joint health. Just be sure to stretch or otherwise “warm up” prior to your workout if your joints are stiff or cold.
If it’s too cold outside to exercise comfortably, consider signing up for a gym, going to a mall to walk around or staying indoors and doing some light exercise.
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to be cold as well—staying warm can help your joint pain and keep you comfortable throughout the colder months.
When going outside, be sure to dress warm. Layers are your friend! Invest in some insulated items, including hats, gloves and pants that will keep you toasty even in brisker temperatures. You can also take a hot bath or consider turning up the heat in your home.
Talk to your doctor about supplements you may be able to take to benefit your joint health. Some people see results by adding omega-3 or glucosamine-chondroitin supplements to their diet. Our Atlanta pain management specialists can let you know if these additions to your diet would benefit you.
Eating healthy will also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is essential to combating joint pain and inflammation, even in the cold weather. Eating nutrient-rich foods and avoiding many processed foods that can contribute to inflammation and weight gain could be helpful.
Staying hydrated will help lubricate your joints and work against the stiffness that can often set in during cold weather. You don’t have to sip cold water, which can often only serve to make you colder. Try a cup of hot herbal tea, drink room-temperature water or enjoy a cup of warm apple cider to stay hydrated and warm yourself up!
Make an Appointment at Our Pain and Wellness Center
Our Summit Spine & Joint Centers team knows how joints can be impacted by colder weather conditions, especially in people that have been affected by arthritis or an injury. We’re here to help you decrease your joint discomfort and feel better despite the falling temperatures. Contact us today to make an appointment at our pain and wellness center and get relief from your joint pain!