What to do About Cold Weather Joint Pain
Anyone who experiences cold weather joint pain knows how sore it can be and that it may affect general mobility and well-being. What are the best ways to cope with these types of aches?
Winter weather in Canada can get extremely cold, wet and windy, so it's not always easy to get the same type of exercise that you may undertake during the summer months. However, cold weather joint pain, such as that connected to osteoarthritis knee conditions, can be effectively combated with gentle to moderate exercise because it increases the blood flow to joints, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the muscles surrounding them.
Do your exercising indoors, whether it's at home, in your local gym or any large enclosed area near where you live; shopping centres are excellent places to walk around. Other good indoor alternatives are swimming in heated pools, Pilates and yoga. If you prefer to stay at home, invest in some inexpensive exercise equipment, such as small bean bags, hand-held weights and stretch bands. Housework is also a great way to stretch and bend, especially when you do it to your favourite tunes. Remember to alternate activity with rest.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Winter is often the time that comfort foods become really attractive, so be sure to keep an eye on how much of those creamy, warming foods you consume and how often. Don't let your weight creep up during the snowy months, because cold weather joint pain is aggravated if your body is carrying extra pounds.
It's easier to manage cold weather joint pain if your body is warm, and the best way to do this is to dress accordingly, whether you're indoors or out. Put on layers of clothing, starting with thermal underwear if needed, and don't feel shy to wear your beanie, gloves and scarf inside your home if they help preserve your body temperature. When you're watching TV, cuddle up under a fleece throw as an energy-efficient way to keep warm or use a heating pad on the affected joints.
Visit a Medical Clinic
A centre that offers specialized treatments for cold weather joint pain is an excellent way to help you handle your condition:
- Physiotherapy assists in loosening joints and flexing surrounding muscles. Treatments may involve the use of hot or cold packs or a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine. Your physiotherapist will most likely give you advice on the best exercises to do to combat cold weather joint pain.
- Swedish massage and hot stone massage therapy are excellent methods of relieving pain in the joints. These techniques help to combat stress, encourage good sleep and relax muscles, all things that help to alleviate cold weather joint pain.
- Acupuncture is another way to combat joint pain. It may be used on its own or in conjunction with other treatments. It is thought that acupuncture boosts the natural pain killers, called endorphins, in the body.
Uplift Your Mood
Pain always seems worse if you're feeling unhappy, so try to stay upbeat as much as possible. Indulge in "me times" regularly, whether it's watching a funny TV program, listening to your favourite music, having a cup of special herbal tea or just chatting with friends and family face-to-face or via an electronic device. And know that winter is but a season, it will pass.
If you suffer from cold weather joint pain, the qualified and certified therapists at Chiro-Med Rehab Centre can help. We are located in Richmond Hill and Newmarket, covering the Toronto area. Call or complete our form today to request your free consultation.