With winter around the corner, fatigue and pain, particularly joint pain, are likely to increase. But why do you experience it most in winter? Let’s find out! Read about joint pain and how it can be tackled, especially in the cold winter months.
What is Joint Pain?
Joint pain can be the result of an illness or an injury affecting any of the tendons or ligaments surrounding the joint. It can even occur as the result of an inflammation of any part of the joints, like the cartilage, bones, ligaments, tendons, or muscles. The pain can range from mild to severe and may last for a couple of weeks, or even months. The symptoms of joint pain include swelling of the joint, stiffness, weakness, joint tenderness, etc.
Why Do You Experience Joint Pain in Winter?
A change in the weather can lead to joint pain. As the barometric pressure drops in winter, the tendons, muscles, and the surrounding tissues of the joints in the body expand. This expansion puts pressure on the joints and causes pain.
10 Tips To Tackle Joint Pain during Winter
Here are some tips that will ease your joint pain in the cold months of winter.
1. Wear Warm Clothes
It may seem like a no-brainer, considering the fact that it’s cold outside, but there is no harm in placing a friendly reminder, now, is there? Wear warm clothes, and layer up if you live in the colder regions of India. Wear two or more sweaters, gloves, a scarf, and just about anything that’ll keep you warm. To avoid joint pain, make sure your knees, feet, and hands are covered properly.
2. Exercise Indoors
Don’t let the winter chill stop you from exercising. Exercise is one of the best ways to stay active and keep your joints pain-free during winter. However, stepping outside the house will seem like a challenging task in winter, so make an indoor exercise plan. You can try indoor exercises, like jogging on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. Go easy on yourself if you have joint pain – do not indulge in strenuous exercises; instead, opt for low-impact exercises.
3. Keep The ‘Burn’ Alive
In winters, you subconsciously start leading a sedentary lifestyle. Staying in bed till late, eating more, and not indulging in any physical activity only intensifies the pain. Yes, you want to stay indoors but don’t let the cosy indoors tempt and trap you. Get up, exercise, and run errands. Keep moving as it will keep your joints mobile, and your muscles, strong.
4. Take Warm Baths
To soothe joint pain, take warm water baths. Warm water stimulates blood flow to stiff muscles and joints, thus, relaxing them and easing the pain. You can also consider using heating pads or warm compresses to alleviate the pain. Place the heating pad on the affected area to stimulate blood flow to that region and help it heal quickly.
5. Include Fish Oil in Your Diet
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that help in relieving joint pain. You can buy fish oil from stores or online; however, make sure that you consult your doctor first for dosage instructions. Fish oil can cause certain side effects, like nausea, rashes, or indigestion, which is why you need to take it with caution. If you experience any side effects, inform your doctor about the same.
6. Take Vitamin D Supplements
A deficiency of Vitamin D can also make your joints hurt. To cope with this deficiency, bask in the sun as much as possible. However, in winters, you will not see the sun shining down brightly always, so consider taking Vitamin D supplements. You can buy over-the-counter Vitamin D supplements from a pharmacy. However, to be on the safer side, it is advised that you consult your doctor before starting with these supplements.
7. Use a Topical Medication
Topical medications are available in the form of gels, sprays, creams, or patches. These medications contain pain-relieving substances that can provide you relief from joint pain (although only temporarily). Topical medications work best for hand and knee pain, as the medication gets absorbed easily. After applying any of these medications topically, always remember to wash your hands and do not touch your mouth or eyes.
8. Stay Hydrated
We know as the cold winter days approach, your water intake will reduce, even without you realising it. But that’s something you need to take care of because even mild levels of dehydration can make you sensitive to pain. Staying hydrated, on the other hand, will help you stay active. Drink at least 2 -3 litres of water daily; it will help your body stay flexible and reduce the possibility of stiffness. Furthermore, drinking water will also keep you full, preventing you from overeating!
9. Lose Weight
Obesity can lead to various health issues, which is why you should try to maintain a healthy body weight. An increased body weight puts pressure on your feet and knees, which leads to pain. So keep a check on your weight; you will be less prone to joint pain.
10. Get a Professional Massage
There is nothing like a long relaxing massage, especially when your body aches. It is when you have a great massage session that you realise that how often you need it, and how easily you keep putting it off. Don’t forget to take care of yourself because your body needs you to take care of it. A massage is very effective in relieving joint pain. Get an hour-long professional massage every week until the pain subsides completely.
The short days of winter may appear longer than expected if you experience joint pain or any kind of discomfort, which is why you need to be extra careful about your health at this time. Follow the above-mentioned tips to tackle joint pain during winter. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and lead an active life for a happy winter!