How is Cold Weather Affecting Your Arthritis?

cold weather and joint pain

Winter is upon us, and for those who suffer from joint pain that can mean even more discomfort. While many people blame their increased aches and pains on the cold weather, it is actually due to changes in the barometric pressure. When there are sudden drops in the barometric pressure, your joints can swell, putting more pressure on the nerves that control your pain centers. The more swelling, the more aches and pains. There are however, many ways you can control your arthritis pain this winter. 

Winter is a time that should be full of joyfulness and cheer, let us help you keep your spirits up and your pain levels down with some great tips on relieving your arthritis pain this winter. 

Dress for the Winter season

When the temperatures start to drop it should be obvious to us that we need to start dressing for the occasion. Moms don’t tell their kids to put on their coats and boots just to hear themselves talk, they are trying to keep those bodies healthy! Try layering up to keep warm. It also helps tremendously in lessening your arthritis aches and pains. Wear loose, layered clothing to help trap in your body’s heat and keep your joints warm. Some other winter weather dressing tips include:

  • Wearing waterproof boots so your feet don’t get cold and damp
  • Wearing a hat and scarf so you can protect your head and neck and trap in heat
  • Wearing gloves to warm and protect your aching joints in your hands
  • Wearing thermal or compression leggings and tights to keep your knees warm 

Keep Moving 

One reason that arthritis sufferers may feel more pain during the winter is because people are less inclined to move or go outside when it’s colder. When you are less active, your joints are going to be stiff and sore. Have you ever noticed that when you first wake up you joint take a little bit to get going? Now imagine if you went all winter without exercising, your body would be incredibly stiff and sore. If you are not fond of going out in the cold, there are plenty of exercises that you can do indoors that can keep your body active throughout the winter. Try yoga, walking on a treadmill, or indoor cycling. 

Weight Management

The more that our bodies weigh, the more weight our joints have to carry, it’s simple. However, during the winter there are so many holidays that are centered around gathering with our families and friends and feasting on tasty treats. Combining this with the fact that we are spending more time sedentary in our homes does not make for a good combination for our weight. However,  making better choices in our diet during the winter along with regular exercise can help you lose and/or maintain your weight and ease the stress on your joints. 

A Few Other Great Tips 

If you are taking prescription medications be sure to take them 30 minutes before exercising to allow them time to kick in. This will help with your joint pain and allow you to keep exercising through the winter months. 

Be sure to keep drinking water throughout the winter, you can become dehydrated at any temperature. Your body loses a lot of fluid during the cold, dry winter months, and many people don’t pay as much attention to hydration during this time. 

It is always important to have a good pain management plan in place to help mitigate your symptoms year-round. The Arthritis Pain Institute is here to help you. Give us a call today at (972) 960-3738 to find out about our many options for treating your arthritis pain.