Top 7 tips to minimise pain in the cold weather
Stay happy in the winter.
Do you or someone you know complain of increasing pain during the winter months?
Or do you suddenly have an inkling that it is going to rain or drop in temperature because your joints become more painful?
Have a read below to find out why….
One reason is due to a drop in atmosphere (barometric) pressure, which can cause an increase in joint swelling and therefore pain. Most often I see patients complaining of this affecting their hands and knees, but can affect any joint in the body.
Another reason is that your blood vessels narrow in order to reduce the amount of heat loss from your torso. This is why you may notice that your hands and feet (your extremities) are often the first to get cold. In addition, the reason you were always told to wear a hat in the winter to keep you warm was because, like the hands and feet, your head has a large blood supply.
Thirdly, your muscles will tense and contract in the cold weather, causing them to feel achy. The nerve endings in the muscles can also become more sensitive to pain.
As you try to keep warm in winter – make sure you also look after your spine.
Top 7 tips to minimise pain in the cold weather….
Exercise regularly. It is important to remain active to keep your joints mobile and prevent them from becoming stiff. Swimming in a heated pool will help minimise pain joint pain. Exercise can also improve your mood.
Make sure you focus on extra stretches of your muscles first thing in the morning to prevent them tensing during the day.
Take supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids help keep the joints mobile. Vitamin D is very important at this time of the year, as there is little sunshine during the day. Both help to keep your joints healthy.
In the cold weather, you may feel less thirsty. Make sure you remember to drink lots of water to prevent the body from incompletely processing waste, making you feel achy.
Wear an extra layer to keep warm. Buy a couple of heat packs (the ones that have a clicky button in them which warm up when pressed) to keep in the car or your jacket. They are very useful when you are out and about.
When scraping ice from the car windshield, be careful not to over-stretch - go around to the other side of the car when necessary. Use a de-icer spray to make it easier when scraping.
Most importantly, book in to see your Chiropractor! During the winter months, your Chiropractic adjustment can help alleviate the pains associated with arthritis, neck and back pain.