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By Joseph Stellabotte, M.D., sports medicine specialist at Premier Every year, 'Old Man Winter' brings with him an assortment of sprains, strains, and fractures. But following a few simple steps can lower the odds that you or a loved one suffers a winter weather...
3 Tips for Relieving Joint Pain in Winter
With little scientific evidence to suggest that cold weather does actually affect joint pain, many physicians don’t have many suggestions for finding relief aside from using over-the-counter pain relief and anti-inflammatory drugs.
While both of these are definitely options in your pain management wheelhouse, there are some more natural options that will not only help to ease your joint pain this season but will also contribute to a healthier lifestyle overall.
Get Plenty of Exercise
If you run regularly, you might have a harder time running in winter, especially if you suffer from joint pain. It takes longer to warm up, and the cold simply takes its toll on the body.
Consider taking your regular routine indoors at your local indoor track or gym. The key to keeping those joints from aching in winter is to make sure that they’re well-used throughout the season.
There are plenty of other great exercises that you can try indoors as well during the winter season. Consider trying something new and low impact, such as yoga or a spin class. These will ensure that you use your whole body while limiting the impact on your joints.
One thing many people don’t realize, especially in winter, is the importance of proper hydration. In summer, it’s easy to see how much water you need because you sweat. But in winter, you need just as much water, if not more, than in summer because of the energy it takes for your body to equalize your internal temperature.
Proper hydration is the key to joint pain relief since it helps to lower the amount of lactic acid stored in your muscles, which is what causes a lot of muscle pain from working out. By staying hydrated before, during, and after your workout, you can lower the amount of lactic acid buildup in your muscles and decrease both your recovery time and joint pain.
Along with proper hydration, your body needs proper nutrition to function well. Maintaining a healthy weight is integral to joint health, and even the smallest weight gain can affect how your joints feel. In addition, certain foods cause more inflammation in the body and can contribute to muscle and joint pain, especially if you have any food allergies or sensitivities.
A healthy diet means different things to different people, so be sure to talk to a nutrition specialist if you’re not sure what’s a good diet for your lifestyle. Whether you eat a typical American diet with more fruits and vegetables or you decide to do a radical lifestyle change, diet is the most important factor for maintaining a healthy body.
Joint pain in winter is definitely a struggle. After you’ve ensured that you’re eating healthy, hydrating properly, and exercising regularly, you can try still other things if you need relief. Talk to your orthopaedic specialist about what you can do to get some relief fast.
For more information on relieving your joint pain, click here to download our eBookThe Patient’s Manual to Joint Replacement.