Season changes are rarely kind to joint pain sufferers. That’s most especially true during the cold and blustery days of winter. When stiffness sets in and the familiar aching pain returns, your team at Beacon is here to help. While we always advise seeing us first to see if there’s something we can do to alleviate or eliminate your pain, there are things you can do at home to help minimize your suffering.
1. If You Settle In, The Pain Could Begin
For a variety of reasons, we, as humans, are inclined to be more sedentary during the winter months. Staying active is key to warding off joint pain. Low impact activities can help keep your muscles loose, strong, and better able to protect and maintain mobility in your joints. Give indoor swimming, yoga, weight training or even just walking a try.
2. Layer, Bundle, Repeat
Dramatic shifts in temperature can really flare up your joint pain. That’s why we recommend layering and bundling when you venture out. Keep a stash of extra gloves and socks in convenient locations in case you find yourself in the middle of an unexpected temperature drop. In short, be prepared.
3. Water Does a Body Good
We say this so much that it feels cliché, but water really is the answer to staying healthy in all respects, especially for joint pain sufferers and even more especially during dry winter months. Don’t love water? You have options! From warm tea to broth and soup, you can work in more liquid that can also help keep you toasty. Just watch the sodium count on the latter two.
4. Stay Weather Aware
Barometric pressure changes can be linked to pain, according to the weather service, Intellicast. The service’s further explanation states that “low pressure is generally associated with cold, wet weather and an increase in pain; clear, dry conditions signal high pressure and a decrease in pain.” To help people who are sensitive to these changes, the Weather Channel offers an Aches and Pains Index Map to show how weather patterns in your area might affect pain levels.
5. Take Meds in Bed FTW
A warm bed is hard to leave. Add in joint pain and it might feel impossible. Consider keeping your medications on your nightstand, so you don’t have to get up to take them. Go a step further, and give your arthritis pills some time to kick in before moving out of bed to enjoy an even easier way to rise.
6. Flex Your Tech with a Programmable Thermostat
Sometimes it isn’t the cold that negatively affects joint pain and arthritis sufferers as much as dramatic temperature fluctuations do. To combat that, you can invest in a programmable thermostat. It monitors the current temperature and adjusts accordingly, which ensures a much more consistent environment.
7. Bring the Heat
Nothing soothes arthritis pain like heat. Consider strategically placing heating devices around your home and work space. Heated mat in the bathroom while you get ready for the day? Absolutely. Heated blanket by your favorite tv-watching spot? Yes, please. Heating pad in your work chair? Why not?
8. Massage Away the Pain
The cold can cause muscles to tighten, which leads to increased pressure and pain. Self-massage is a quick way to release the muscles surrounding aching joints. Learn simple techniques that you can do at home. Ask your doctor or a physical therapist who specializes in arthritis to show you how to target specific joints causing you pain.
9. When in Doubt, It’s Compression Gloves and Splints to the Rescue
Wear compression gloves to help you deal with the cold in two ways — the gloves help keep your hands warm while the compression provides pain relief to your joints.
Using a resting splint during arthritis flare-ups helps offer much-needed relief. These devices temporarily immobilize the joint, which allows time for it to rest. You can find splints designed to fit any joint in your body, including fingers and hips. Ask your Beacon specialist to point you in the right direction.
BONUS TIP: Sip a Mug of Golden Milk
Golden milk plays double duty by comforting you while its turmeric spice has been shown to reduce arthritis pain with its anti-inflammatory properties. While you can take it as a supplement, use it to make golden milk for a health-centric treat.
If you aren’t familiar with golden milk, it’s a traditional hot Indian drink made from milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and a dash of maple syrup.
Experience the Beacon Difference
We’re here for you, our joint pain sufferers. Whether it’s from an old injury, arthritis, or something else, our physicians have the expertise and experience to help bring you much-needed relief. Schedule an appointment today.