At MoonlightOrtho, we visit with many patients who complain of arthritis pain that flares up as the weather changes – particularly during the colder winter months. In fact, many people often swear they can tell when the weather is about to change due to an increased pain and discomfort in their joints. We do know that cold weather and low pressure fronts do tend to cause joints to ache. However, there are several simple, manageable ways you can help ease your aches and pains as arthritic joints flare up this winter.
If it’s cold outside, keep aching hands warm with gloves, and add extra layers over knees and legs. Staying warm can work wonders for achy joints.
Heat boosts blood flow to help flush out pain-producing chemicals and stimulates receptors in your skin that improve your pain tolerance. Warmth also relaxes muscles to decrease spasms and reduce stiffness. So whether you bundle up when out in the cold, curl up under a heavy blanket at home, or soak in the bath, staying warm can help ease your winter joint and muscle pains.
It may seem counterintuitive to want to exercise when the temperature drops, but staying active may help your joints stay limber and actually decreases pain receptors. If it’s simply too cold to go for an outdoor walk, exercise indoors with some stretching exercises or light weights to improve circulation and the symptoms of joint stiffness and muscle weakness.
Another reason exercise is so important for arthritis is to help maintain a healthy weight. Did you know every time you take a step the pressure across your knees is three to four times your bodyweight? Even losing three pounds of weight can take about nine to 12 pounds of pressure off your knees when you walk.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is important for several reasons. First, staying hydrated helps give you more energy to stay active. Second, mild dehydration might make you more sensitive to pain, according to study results published in the September 2015 issue of Experimental Physiology.
If you are facing extreme discomfort in your joints due to arthritis, please consult our orthopedic telemedicine experts at MoonlightOrtho. Our orthopedic surgeons work after hours, nights, weekends, and even holidays to provide you the best care and advice possible regarding all your joint & muscle aches and pains. Begin your treatment at MoonlightOrtho.com and receive a discount off your first visit.