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Wintertime Arthritis Aids

Posted by UFMC Pueblo in Uncategorized | 0 comments

DOctor working on patient hand

So you’re getting ready to take your daughter to your mother’s house for the weekend. After all, your daughter loves spending quality time with Grandma!

Right before you leave, Grandma gives you a call.

“Make sure my granddaughter brings a heavy coat with her. There’s a storm coming. I can feel it in my knees.”

It’s easy to hear that and roll your eyes. But for those suffering from arthritis, they really can “feel a storm coming,” and there’s a reason for that.

Science hasn’t homed in on the reason that cold weather can exacerbate arthritis joint pain and stiffness, but there are a few possible explanations. A fall in barometric pressure, which often occurs as a cold front approaches, can cause joints to expand, which may result in pain.

While predicting the weather might be a fun superpower associated with arthritis, very little else is fun. Those with arthritis have constant flare-ups, and they get worse in the wintertime.

There are some remedies, though, that could help weather winter arthritis:

  • Stay active: It may seem counterintuitive. It hurts when you move, but you’re supposed to move more? Exercise, though, is crucial for people living with arthritis. Physical activity helps ease pain, increase strength and flexibility, and boost energy. Avoiding exercise because you’re worried it can make your arthritis worse is a big misconception. Bundling up and taking a daily walk around the neighborhood could actually help.
  • Keep warm: If winter freezes your joints, summer thaws them. Meet the seasons halfway by cuddling with a heavy blanket and staying as warm as possible. Heat makes the blood flow, and that blood flow helps improve pain tolerance. Warmth also relaxes muscles to decrease spasms and reduce stiffness.
  • Dress in layers: No matter how warm you are under a blanket at home, going outside seems to freeze your joints all over again. You have to keep that warmth going, and it’s important to have the tools you need to remain warm in the conditions. Dressing in layers helps, even more so than one large heavy coat, to keep you warm and the joint-shattering chills away.
  • Get your Vitamin D: We all need Vitamin D, and most of us get it in the summertime, as sunlight is the best source for Vitamin D. Arthritis sufferers need Vitamin D, as studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiencies are connected to major rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups. Even though there’s less sunlight in the winter, and thus less Vitamin D, take a Vitamin D supplement and help stave off those flare-ups.

While home remedies are great, though, you should consult with your doctor for help with major pain from arthritis, cold-related or not. With the help of your doctor and by listening to your body, you can be prepared to remedy most if not all arthritis flare-ups.

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