Winter is here, and along with it comes colder weather. Many people in Houston, Texas, may be worrying about how to relieve their joint pain in the winter weather. NASA Bone & Joint Specialists believes that the weather shouldn’t hold you back from doing the things you love, so we’ve listed some ways to relieve your winter joint pain:
- Exercise Inside
The cold winter weather often causes people to put their exercise routine on hold. However, exercise is important for those with joint pain. Physical movement loosens joints, which helps prevent stiffness and pain. To avoid the winter chill, move your exercise indoors. Use a treadmill or exercise along to a workout video to get moving around while indoors.
- Take a Vitamin D Supplement
During winter, you are less likely to spend time outdoors in the sun due to the colder temperatures. This decreased amount of sunlight can lead to lower levels of vitamin D. Since low levels of vitamin D can lead to joints that are more sensitive to pain, you may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement in the winter.
- Dress Warmly
Not only will dressing warmly keep you comfortable when facing colder temperatures, it also will help keep joint pain at bay. Use gloves to keep the joints in your hands warm, and add extra layers over your knees and legs to avoid joint pain in the lower body. The extra warmth will prevent your joints from becoming stiff and causing pain.
- Utilize Warm Water
Warm water is extremely soothing for joints. Soaking in warm water can decrease inflammation and stimulates blood flow, which reduces pain felt in the joints. Draw yourself a warm bath and relax in the water for 30-45 minutes.
- Avoid Holiday Treats
The winter holidays often come with a multitude of treats, such as cookies and candies. While these foods may be tempting, they are loaded with sugar. Sugar contributes to inflammation, which can cause irritation in the joints. Additionally, sugar can lead to weight gain, which puts more pressure and stress on your joints. Skip the holiday treats and opt for some fruit if you’re craving something sweet this season.
- Warm Up Before Going Outdoors
While most people think warming up is exclusive to an exercise routine, it can be beneficial to stretch and lightly move around any time before you go outdoors. Light movement and stretching can loosen the joints and increase your range of movement before facing the cold weather. March lightly in place or stretch your muscles for five minutes before stepping out the door to keep the cold from causing stiff or painful joints.
- Drink Water
During winter, many people reach for drinks such as eggnog or cider instead of water. However, hydration is important to lubricate your joints and prevent pain. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration that can lead to joint pain.
- Eat Plenty of Winter Vegetables
Use seasonal produce to your advantage this winter to relieve joint pain. Vegetables such as Brussel sprouts and broccoli are at their peak during the winter and can help reduce joint pain. These vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane, which has been shown to block enzymes within the body that lead to destruction of cartilage in joints.
- Treat Yourself to a Massage
With the stress that comes along with holiday shopping during winter, a massage is usually a welcome stress-relief tool. A massage also has the added benefit of relieving your winter joint pain as well by loosening surrounding muscles and promoting blood flow. Treat yourself to a massage this winter for the double benefit of reducing stress and easing joint pain.
- Be Careful When Walking Outdoors
Winter weather usually means increased rainfall. This can lead to slick surfaces that can make falling more likely. Be careful when walking outdoors, and wear shoes with a good amount of traction on the soles to prevent a fall that will further damage joints.
Winter weather can take a toll on joints, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the season in pain. If you’re suffering from chronic joint pain and want to get back to a pain-free life, NASA Bone & Joint Specialists can help. Give us a call at (281) 333-5114.