Osteoarthritis: A degenerative joint disease caused by the wearing down of cartilage and the underlying bone. It results in pain and stiffness, primarily in the joints.
When the weather grows colder, those suffering from osteoarthritis typically experience an increase in pain. As temperatures drop, joints can expand, resulting in discomfort. Many who live with debilitating osteoarthritis pain can come to dread the winter season because of this pain. The good news is that there are some tips to help alleviate your weather-induced discomfort.
- Stay Warm
This simple statement can be difficult to achieve during the winter. When the weather outside is frightful, consider wearing gloves and extra jackets to help your joints stay warm. You can also soak in a tub of warm water or take advantage of a heated pool. These small steps can make a big difference in your level of pain.
- Keep Moving
When it’s cold outside, many of us are tempted to be stagnant. However, staying active can help your joints by alleviating stiffness. Indoor exercises like yoga, aerobics, house cleaning, and even walking around an indoor shopping mall are all helpful ways to stay active when temperatures drop.
- Consider Vitamin D
The sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D. When the weather is chilly, our bodies produce less of this joint-supporting nutrient. For this reason, it might be a good idea to ask your physician or nutritionist about taking vitamin D supplements.
Some osteoarthritis sufferers may benefit from wearing compression gloves. Known to increase circulation and blood flow, they can help ease the pain and stiffness brought on by the cold weather. Also, they will keep your hands warmer as an additional benefit.
Massage is not just a luxury. It can be a necessity for those suffering from joint pain. Consider treating yourself to soothing massages this winter. Not only will you be warm and indoors, but the physical and relaxing mental benefits of massage may also help alleviate your discomfort.
- Sleep Well
While it is important to stay active during the winter months, overdoing it can be harmful as well. Healthy joints require adequate amounts of sleep and rest. For those experiencing pain from osteoarthritis, sleep can be difficult. Try limiting your intake of caffeinated beverages during the late afternoon. Doing so may help you get to sleep easier.
- Cut Back on Sugar
Some studies show a connection between sugar consumption and inflammation. Because inflammation can cause arthritis, it is a good idea to curb your intake of sweets. During the cold months, consider low-sugar indulgences like a cup of tea to help warm your body without aggravating your joints.
- Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can adversely affect joint health. Drinking water can help lessen pain by combating inflammation and reducing joint friction. It can be difficult to stay hydrated during the winter. However, the antioxidants found in hot drinks like coffee have been shown to help arthritic pain. Your doctor and nutritionist will know the best diet for you.
- Over-the-Counter Relief
As a compliment to exercise and nutrition, you may want to consider asking your doctor if acetaminophen or an NSAID can safely provide you with osteoarthritis pain relief. These can work in conjunction with staying active and taking proper care of your body and joints all year round.
- Fish Oil
When talking to your doctor about supplements, fish oil is one you might want to consider mentioning. One of many supplements recommended by the Arthritis Foundation, it can reduce inflammation, resulting in an extra measure of relief during the winter months and beyond.
Here at BASS Medical Group, we care about joint health. You can schedule an appointment with one of our specialists to discuss your pain management options. Pain relief for osteoarthritis is possible! Contact us today.