With winter season around, I just slipped into my fond childhood memories of buying new sweaters, pulling the blanket over face and lazing on the bed long after the alarm rings, campfires in the neighborhood during night, so on and so forth but now as a practicing orthopedic surgeon I experience a different kind of winter with patients pouring into my chamber complaining of aggravated joint pains due to decreased temperature.
Although cold weather is not a cause of arthritic joint pains, it only aggravates the pain. Many patients with arthritic joint pains swear by the pain in their joints as a predictor of rainy or cold weather. I often hear patients complain all the time that they knew the weather is turning cold from the increasing pain in their knees.
If you are a person suffering from arthritis or any other form of joint pains, here are 11 tips to ease your arthritic joint pain during the winter.
Keep your joints warm. Dress in warm clothes especially when you have to go out in winter. Use gloves, scarf, sweater etc. during winters to add extra layers of clothing.
Lots of Liquids
Make it a point that you drink a lot of liquids preferably warm water during winters. Even mild dehydration might make you more sensitive to pain. Hydrating yourself is used in lot of other ways too
Keep a close watch on your weight. Obesity or overweight can make arthritis worse. Winter brings in lots of festivals and yummy food along with it. So eat healthily and better be calorie conscious as weight gain can happen simply at the drop of a hat. Be active and maintain a healthy diet, Weight loss can help in improving arthritis.
Exercise – A Must
Cold weather and warm blanket are no excuse for exercise. The less sedentary you are better is your physical function. Stick to your regular regimen of exercise as it would help loosen your joints. Come up with an indoor exercise plan, that way you can avoid winter chills by keeping your self-indoors during early morning workouts.
Take warm water showers. It would give a lot of relief to aching joints. Hot water can ease the joint pain, so indulge yourself in comforting hot water bath.
Vitamin D Supplements
It is difficult to get adequate sunlight during winter. So consult your orthopedician regarding your requirement for vitamin D supplements or vitamin D – fortified foods.
Be careful while walking on any surface because dew can make the surfaces slippery. Use a good pair of shoes while walking.
Take an orthopedic doctor’s advice on glucosamine chondroitin supplements as studies support its role in decreasing joint pains.
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have proved to decrease the level of inflammation. Take your orthopedic doctor’s advice before taking it.
Pamper yourself with a good massage. Take your physiotherapists suggestions regarding routine exercises to ease your joints.
Try and minimize the intake of pain medication. If unavoidable, stick to basic pain medication with little side effects on your digestion and kidneys.