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Battling Winter Joint Pain

  • Category: General Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: ATRIO Health Plans
Battling Winter Joint Pain

Ways for Seniors to Manage Joint Pain During the Colder Months

As the temperature drops, joint pain can become a common issue for seniors. But why does joint discomfort seem to worsen during the winter months? One potential reason is that colder temperatures cause the muscles and tissues around our joints to tighten and contract, leading to increased stiffness and discomfort. Additionally, some medical conditions, such as arthritis, may be worsened by cold weather.

So what can we do to manage joint pain during the winter season? Here are a few tips:

Dress in layers to keep your joints warm and protected.

Dressing in layers can help keep your joints warm and protected during the cold winter months. This is because layers trap heat around the joint, providing added warmth and cushioning. So next time you go outside in the chilly weather, be sure to bundle up with some layers for joint protection. Wear proper protective gear when participating in outdoor activities like shoveling snow as well.

Stay active with low-impact exercises like swimming or walking.

It's important to keep our joints moving and stay active, even during the colder months. However, getting outside as much as we're used to in the spring or summer can be tricky. If temperatures are mild, get outdoors for some fresh air and exercise. Or, choose an indoor low-impact routine such as swimming, yoga, or pilates.

Use hot/cold therapy to relieve joint pain.

Applying a warm heat pack or taking a hot shower before activity can loosen stiff joints and increase blood flow, while using an ice pack or taking a cool bath afterward can reduce inflammation and soreness. Alternating between heated packs and ice packs can also provide relief. Just be sure not to leave either on for too long to avoid skin irritation. On average, you should do one minute of cold for every four minutes of heat.

Incorporate joint supplement products.

One way to combat this discomfort is by incorporating certain vitamins and supplements into your daily routine.

Fish oil, turmeric, and glucosamine are just a few examples of natural joint pain relievers that have been shown to be effective in supporting joint health. However, it's important to consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen. Be sure to also drink plenty of water to keep your joints hydrated!

In addition to taking care of your joint health from the inside, don't forget about external supports such as heating pads or braces. These can offer additional relief during the colder months.

See an orthopedic specialist for treatment.

Though you may try to manage your discomfort at home, continuous joint pain can indicate a deeper issue that should be addressed by an orthopedic specialist. Even if you have a diagnosed joint issue, colder weather can make your symptoms worse and may require a new form of treatment.

Winter is also a common time for orthopedic injuries, such as slips and falls from ice skating, shoveling, or walking in the snow. If you're injured, you should always see a doctor to assess the extent of your injuries.

With these tips, you can keep your joints protected and enjoy everything that winter has to offer!