Winter may be cozy, but it can also be painful.
In fact, The Weather Channel conducted a survey on the topic and found that 42 percent of respondents said that their hip, knee or back pain was triggered by the cold weather.
But most of us don’t need anyone to tell us that it’s a lot more pleasant to walk outside when it’s 70 degrees and sunny than 17 and snowy. We can simply feel it—cold, tight, achy and painful.
This is what’s actually happening in your body when you step outside: The cold causes your muscles to lose heat and contract. That makes you feel tight everywhere, including in your joints. When that happens, your muscles lose their range of motion.
Whether you’re looking to go for a jog when it’s 20 degrees out or just want to feel better getting through your day, here are some winter joint pain relief tips:
Exercise boosts production of your body’s synovial fluid, which keeps your joints lubricated and feeling good. Plus, a good workout releases your body’s natural feel-good compounds, meaning you won’t feel every little ache or twinge as much. Just remember to warm-up a bit first and skip high-impact exercises if they bother your joints.
Even if you’re just running to the store, don’t forget your gloves, warm boots and hat. Keeping your muscles warm is an important step in feeling good. Plus, wearing proper footwear in the winter can help keep you from slipping.
Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Improving your joint health can be as simple as sprucing up your diet. Check out these superfoods that are delicious and beneficial to your bones. Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components, they can become part of your daily menu for bone health.
Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D levels naturally dip in the winter when we get less sun. Research shows that being deficient in this vitamin can increase sensitivity to arthritic pain. Have yours checked at your next physical and ask your doctor about supplements if your levels are low.
Go for a Swim
Swimming in a heated pool kills two birds with one stone—the warm water will make you feel better and you’ll be getting the exercise you need to stay healthy.
Easier said than done, right? Especially around the holidays. It’ll pay to make an effort, though, as every pound you lose will take pressure off your joints. Losing just one pound, in fact, relieves four pounds of pressure from your knees, according to an article by The Arthritis Foundation.
Treat Yourself to a Massage
It just makes sense that a massage will make you feel better, but there’s also research you can show your significant other to justify the expense.
If you’re feeling achy this winter and nothing seems to help, it may be time to have a talk with your doctor. Or perhaps you need help losing the weight needed to relieve pressure on your joints? Either way, we’re ready to help. Contact us today to make an appointment and let’s work together to get you feeling good again.