Cold, damp weather can make arthritis pain increase, causing swelling, aching, and grinding in the joint. Find out how you can help minimize arthritis pain and keep yourself more comfortable as winter winds down with these six arthritis pain-relief tips.
1. Most important: keep your body warm
Keep at least one room in your house warm enough to relax in. Layer on clothing so you can regulate your body temperature simply by adding or removing a layer. Invest in several pairs of gloves. Consider tights, long johns, or leg warmers to keep knees and ankle warm in bitter weather. You can even use leg warmers on your arms to keep elbows and wrists warmer. Add a heating pad or hot water bottle when needed to amp up the warmth and ease aching joints when its cold and pain sets in.
2. Stay hydrated
Even mild dehydration can make you more sensitive to pain, so make sure you’re getting enough fluids. Tired of chugging water? Turn to hot teas and cocoas, and add a bowl of rich warm soup to your daily routine (try turmeric for added pain relief and reduced inflammation.)
3. Lose a little weight
Even just a few pounds of extra weight can mean significantly more pressure on your knee joints; just ten pounds on your frame adds forty pounds of pressure to your knees. Consider losing a few pounds and see your pain decrease year-round, not just in the winter.
Maintaining movement can keep your joints from swelling and increase flexibility. Staying on the couch or in bed can decrease our mobility and make it harder to get back to activity. Look for low impact exercise options in a warm environment, like walking in a mall or swimming in a heated pool. Look for groups in your area for mall walking or water aerobics for social benefits.
5. Supplement vitamin D
Many arthritis sufferers, especially those on oral steroids, have lowered vitamin D levels. In the winter, getting vitamin D from sunlight is even harder than usual, so consider supplementing to help aid calcium absorption and reduce pain levels. This may mean a daily vitamin pill.
6. Seek alternative therapies
Dr. Strasburger offers a variety of supplemental therapies that can help decrease joint pain from arthritis. Ask about Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and iovera° for pain reduction and increased healing ability.
Ready to relieve your wintertime arthritis pain? Contact our office for a consultation. Dr. Strasburger can evaluate your arthritis pain and help you find ways to alleviate your discomfort and restore your mobility.