Your joints take quite the beating during the winter, especially if you live in an area that gets cold and snowy, or if you travel through areas with frigid temperatures. If you suffer from joint pain due to cold weather, here are eight tips that can help ease your pain.
When the weather outside is cold, your first instinct may be to bundle up in a coat and scarf. But don’t forget about your hands! Wearing gloves can help protect your joints from the cold weather. Plus, it’s an easy way to add an extra layer of warmth.
- Take Warm Baths or Showers: Soaking in a warm bath or shower can help ease joint pain by increasing blood flow and relaxing muscles. Make sure you keep water at a safe temperature so you don’t get too hot.
- Keep Your House Warmer: Maintaining a higher indoor temperature can help lessen the discomfort that comes with arthritis during cold weather. And while we recommend keeping your thermostat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, everyone has their own comfort level.
- Eat Plenty of Potassium-Rich Foods: Winter months often mean eating less fresh fruits and vegetables due to shorter daylight hours. However, including potassium-rich foods such as bananas, potatoes, leafy greens, sweet potatoes and prunes into your diet will help reduce inflammation. Eating these types of foods also helps boost energy levels.
- Try Omega 3 Supplements: Many people are aware that omega 3 supplements have anti-inflammatory properties but many people don’t know just how helpful they can be for relieving joint pain during winter months.
Stretch Before Exercising
When it’s cold outside, your muscles and joints tend to tighten up. To help prevent this, stretch for at least 10 minutes before any type of physical activity. Once your muscles are warmed up, they’re less likely to be injured when you exercise in the cold.
- Wear Layers: Layering helps keep warm because body heat is trapped between layers. If you’re going to be exercising in the cold, make sure that you’re wearing a breathable layer next to your skin such as a synthetic or wool fabric and an outer layer that’s wind-resistant or water-resistant (or both).
- Drink Plenty of Fluids: It’s important not only during the winter months but all year round!
- Take an Aspirin or Anti-Inflammatory Medication Before Exercising
If you have arthritis, your doctor may have already recommended that you take an aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication before exercising. This will help reduce pain and inflammation. Just be sure to check with your doctor first, as some medications can have side effects.
Exercise is important for overall health, but it can also help reduce cold weather joint pain. Low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and yoga are especially helpful. However, if your joints hurt too much, stop what you’re doing. You don’t want to make the pain worse!
Wear Compression Socks
Wearing compression socks can help reduce swelling and pain in the joints. Plus, they can also improve circulation and prevent blood clots. To get the most benefit, wear them during the day and take them off before going to bed. If you’re experiencing joint pain due to cold weather, there are a few things you can do to ease the discomfort.
- Keep Warm: Keeping your extremities warm will help alleviate some of the symptoms of cold weather joint pain. Dress in layers that allow you to regulate your body temperature as needed and make sure that your hands and feet are warm. If you work outside for long periods of time, gloves or toe warmers may be helpful for keeping your hands or feet from getting too cold.
Increase Your Water Intake
When you’re dealing with Joint Pain Due to Cold Weather, it’s important to increase your water intake. Staying hydrated helps keep your joints lubricated, which can ease pain and stiffness. Plus, it’s essential for flushing out toxins that can contribute to inflammation. So drink up!
Exercise in a Warm Environment
When it’s cold outside, your joints can feel stiff and painful. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend the winter cooped up indoors. Exercise is one of the best ways to ease joint pain, and a warm environment can make it more tolerable. Here are four tips to help you get started:
- Find a heated pool or hot tub.
- Take a warm bath or shower before exercising.
- Stretch thoroughly before and after exercise to reduce muscle tightness and stiffness.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton, which will wick away moisture better than synthetic fabrics when you sweat during exercise.
Use Ice Massage to Relieve Inflammation
Use a small hand-held ice pack, or put some crushed ice in a zip-lock bag. Place a towel over the area first to protect your skin, then massage the area for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Repeat as needed throughout the day.
Use an Electric Heating Pad at Night
If you’re someone who often experiences joint pain due to cold weather, using an electric heating pad at night can help soothe your muscles and joints as you sleep.
- Don’t Overdo It Outside: When it’s really cold outside, try not to overdo things like shoveling snow or lifting heavy items. These tasks put undue pressure on the muscles in our shoulders and hips and can cause long-term damage that won’t go away until warmer temperatures return.
Additionally, don’t forget to layer up when it’s freezing out there! Layers trap warm air close to your body which will help keep you from feeling chilled and in turn reduce joint pain. Make sure any layers you wear include some kind of long underwear for extra warmth too!
Why do my joints hurt when it’s cold?
The main reason joint pain is worse in cold weather is because the temperature change causes inflammation. When it’s cold outside, your body tries to protect itself by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow.
Can cold weather cause joint inflammation?
While the jury is still out on whether or not cold weather can actually cause joint inflammation, there is evidence that suggests that it can make existing inflammation worse. So if you suffer from joint pain, you may want to take extra precautions during colder months.
How can I stop joint pain in winter?
- Don’t let the cold weather stop you from moving. Exercise can actually help ease joint pain, so get up and move around as much as possible.
- Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet full of anti-inflammatory foods.
- Use over-the-counter medications for temporary relief.
- Try hot baths or showers with Epsom salts or bath oils to relieve some of the pain (but don’t stay in too long).
What type of climate is best for arthritis?
According to the Arthritis Foundation, people with arthritis should avoid extreme changes in temperature and humidity. So, a moderate climate is best. That means somewhere that doesn’t get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.
Why do my legs hurt when it’s cold?
There are a few reasons why your legs might hurt when it’s cold outside. One reason is that blood vessels constrict in response to the cold, which can cause pain in your joints and muscles.