There are a few of different reasons why joint pain is more severe during the winter months. One of the main reasons is because air pressure increases. This means our joints have more pressure on them during the colder months than they do in the summer months. In addition to this, very cold weather is pretty unpleasant. It can make us stiff if we are constantly feeling cold. Stiff joints can lead to joint pain. Another factor is blood flow, during the cooler months our blood flow is rerouted pumping more blood to our vital organs than our limbs. This takes warmth away from our joints which can cause discomfort. Taking these reasons into consideration, below we outlined a few ways you can try to reduce the pain.
Staying warm is so important during the wintertime. The colder you are the more your body stiffens up, sometimes without you even realizing. When inside, use blankets to cover certain joints like your knees which will keep them warm. Venturing into the cold? Layer up! Wearing plenty of layers can ensure that you and your joints will stay warm, and hopefully keeping the pain at bay. If you are someone who finds it difficult to get warm and stay warm, try taking a bath. The warm water can really help to loosen joints and warm you up almost immediately.
Massages can be very relaxing and help to reduce joint pain. Massages help to relax the muscles that are tense around your joints, it can also improve circulation which will ultimately leave your joints more relaxed and lessen the pain.
Going outside for a walk in 20-degree weather may not be the best way to stay active. However, indoor stretching or maybe riding a stationary bike can help to increase blood flow and reduce tenseness of joints. Stretching can help to maintain flexibility and mobility so our joints to do not become stiff.
Believe it or not there are certain foods that can actually help to lubricate joints. Foods that are rich with omega-3 help to reduce inflammation which can cause joint discomfort. Omega-3s are the ‘good for you’ fatty acids, they can be found in foods like: fish oil, nuts, seeds, eggs, and spinach. In addition, drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure hydration.
Care, UPMC Orthopaedic. “Managing Joint Pain in Winter.” UPMC HealthBeat, 21 Dec. 2015, share.upmc.com/2015/01/managing-pain-joints-winter/.
Fowler, Kimberley. “Reducing Joint Pain in Fall and Winter.” Senior Assisted Living Guides: Find Senior Care A Place for Mom, 28 Nov. 2017, www.aplaceformom.com/blog/reducing-joint-pain-in-fall-and-winter/.
“3 Ways to Relieve Achy Joints – Even in Winter.” Sharecare, www.sharecare.com/health/bone-joint-muscle-health/article/does-cold-weather-cause-joint-pain.