Protecting Your Stiff Joints in the Winter
With temperatures dropping, many of us with stiff or sore joints notice an uptick in our pain. While there is not an exact science as to why this happens, it’s usually attributed to the drop in barometric pressure that happens in the winter. This factor is what causes your tendons, muscles, and the surrounding tissues to expand. This can be very painful for some. Here are some of our tips to help reduce discomfort when the winter approaches.
Maybe an obvious tip, but still very effective in reducing joint pain. If the cold is the stimulant for pain, staying warm will prevent your body from exposure to cooler temperatures. Layers are also important so that you can remove unnecessary clothing once inside and at a comfortable temperature. You can certainly ditch the hat and gloves once the chill of the outside is gone.
It may be extremely enticing to stay cozy on your couch nuzzled up with a blanket in the cooler months. And while it may be comfortable at the time, your body will NOT thank you later. Inactivity is sure to contribute to stiff bones and joints. It’s more important that we keep moving in the Winter. In the Summer, most of our activities revolve around enjoying the nice weather with outdoor activities. While going on an afternoon walk in the Winter doesn’t sound nearly as fun, your joints need the movement to stay healthy. Don’t forget your layers when you head out!
3. Heat Treatment
Time to compensate for the drop in temperature. Heating pads can offer lots of relief to those with seasonal stiffness. However, it is extremely important to use heat treatment in moderation. It’s very easy to get warm and cozy with a heating pad and doze off. But, nobody wants to wake up to scalding heat and burns. If you decide to use a heating pad, it’s recommended to use it in 20 minutes increments.
4. Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Now this may, in fact, be the most difficult tip to follow. But we believe in you! Cold weather usually brings about the holiday, as well as the holiday parties. We start to indulge on out favorite holiday foods and treats. While it may be a joyous time of the year, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. If your joints are bearing added weight, you are sure to notice more pain than usual. Just remember, your favorite foods and sweets are fine in moderation. And if you do decide to indulge, remember to adjust your workout to your “Holiday Diet”.
Nobody wants to spend the Winter in pain. Always listen to your body and acknowledge the first signs of pain. Stop in to your closest Tuck Clinic and let us help you get back to pain free.
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