When it comes to winter, the world gets split into two. There are those who look at winter with a smile so big that the Cheshire Cat would be jealous, the thought of pumpkin-spiced lattes, kicking through street after street of crispy leaves, wearing more layers than an onion, snuggling in bed for entire days at a time and binge-watching everything – everything – Netflix has to offer. And then there are those people who simply see a season of pain, their joints and muscles aching every single morning, making that walk across the freezing cold bathroom tiles even more unpleasant than normal.
The exact science behind why cold weather makes joints ache is still relatively unknown, but the pain and discomfort are so very real and the symptoms worsen. A lot. So, to help you out this autumn and winter, we have spoken to some people in the know and pulled together a list of ways you can protect your vulnerable, weather-sensitive joints as the temperature outside drops faster than President Trump’s popularity.
Acceptance Is The First Move
The very first thing you need to do in order to protect yourself is to accept that your discomfort is oh so very real. If you accept this, then you can make the appropriate moves to overcome this paint, including seeking professional help. You see, when the weather turns really chilly and your joints and backache an abnormal amount – even for you – there are certain treatments that you can get, most notably an injection into the spaces in your joints. This is especially common for knees and shoulders. The reason this helps is that the (we’re about to get all technical here) synovial lining of the joints, which are filled with a fluid that soothes joints and keeps cartilage all healthy – reacts directly to temperature. You may not need this, but by accepting your pain and getting seen, you could find the end of your winter woes is in sight.
Getting Active Goes Against Everything
Yet, staying active could be the secret to overcoming your joint pains. Yes, it is going to be way more tempting to dim the lights, snuggle up in a blanket, pop on another episode of New Girl and stay as far away from the cold winds as possible. But staying active is going to be way better for your body – for both function and mobility. By just curling up on the sofa and ignoring exercise, all you are doing is worsening your pain because you will lose mobility. That means less movement and more pain. Not good. Not only that but because you are less active at a time of the year when, how do we say, temptation is rife, you will add extra weight. It could just be three or four pounds, but even that will be enough to make you wince in pain.
The chance to layer up has got to be one of the best things about the winter season. But it isn’t just stylish, it is is also one of the best things you can do to manage your aches and pains. The more layers you wear, the warmer you will be and that is important because, by keeping your core body temperature high you will have a better chance of keeping the rest of your body warm too – joints, muscles, tendons – each of which is important. So don’t just pull on a jacket and a woolly hat; grab a scarf, pull on a pair of gloves, wear long johns and invest in a pair of warm boots. Anything that will protect your body from the cold – especially exposure to the cold – will help your aches and pains disappear as fast as they appeared.
Better Bedtime Routine
When you suffer from aches and pains, you need to give your body the rest it deserves and the support it needs. The most effective way of doing this is to invest in an ergonomic mattress; something firm that will support your body, encourage a good sleeping posture, relieve any stress and relax your muscles, all of which you can learn about in more depth at www.mattress-guides.net/top-premium-mattresses-chronic-lower-back-pain/. However, it isn’t just about the mattress you sleep on each night, it is also about how long you and that bed of your stay acquainted for. When your body is shouldering a lot of aches and pains, you need to make sure you are giving yourself all the rest and stress relief you need, which means a minimum of eight hours in bed. So get into the habit of going to bed early. Oh, and one more thing, make sure your room is nice and warm. This will help you recover and get back to being pain-free a lot quicker.
Drink Lots Of Water
For all of the nature’s awesomeness, there is one place we have a small bone to pick and that is the matter of dehydration. You see, in the winter, we don’t feel as thirsty, which means the amount of fluids we take on board drastically decreases, which is bad as you can see by reading this article on http://health.allwomenstalk.com/reasons-to-drink-more-water-in-winter. Not only that but when we do drink, we tend to slurp down hot drinks packed full of caffeine and this makes our bodies even more dehydrated. Not only will this lead to things like drier skin and more complications for the body, it also means your aching limbs and joints won’t get the fluids they need to relieve the pressure. Basically, less fluid means more pain. An easy way to overcome this is to drink more water. You could even add some reminders on your phone to keep yourself in check. Of course, if you really do need to slurp on a hot drink – and you probably do – then try slurping on mugs of green tea. Your body will love you for it.
Wish For A Warm Bath
Actually, don’t just wish for on. Get up and run yourself one. Make it steaming and add loads of lotions and potions. The reason for this is simple: warm baths are the epitome of what it is to de-stress, which is exactly what you and your body need. The warm water will encourage your tensed muscles to unwind and relax and basically relieve all the joint pains you may be feeling. Of course, you don’t want to make the water too hot otherwise your muscles and joints will tense up again when you step out. That and you could end up with dry and patchy skin. Not a great look on top of struggling to stand, walk or even sit up straight.
Stretch It Out
As the weather gets colder, our joints tend to get stiffer. So if you are older and not a fan of it getting colder then you are going to suffer from a double whammy on the stiff joint front. That is where stretching comes into play. That could literally mean a morning stretch to get your blood flowing and loosen up your joints and muscles, or it could mean taking it one step further and taking up an activity like Tai Chi. You don’t have to go outside and brave the winter weather and you get all the benefits of keeping your joints active. It is a win-win situation. If you really want to get moving, then skip past stretching and Tai Chi and go straight for yoga, which is a sure fire way to getting active and, hopefully, pain-free.
Slap On Some Heat
One of the most attractive and almost instant methods of pain relief is to slap on a warm pack. Yup. Just slap a warm pack onto the cold joints or part of your body that aches and wait as a warm ave of pain relief soothes you. It could be moist heat in the form of a damp towel or a heating pad that you leave to work its magic. Just make sure you are responsible with how you use these. You don’t want to fall asleep with a warm pack on you. Nope. Instead, make sure you set a timer for now more than twenty minutes and apply to the affected parts of your body in intervals. If you suffer from damaged nerves, then make sure you don’t go beyond ten minutes. Get that right and you will find you can relieve yourself from any cold-induced pain pretty quickly.
You Are What You Eat
During the cold winter months, you need to enjoy a balanced diet more than ever. Not only that, but you need to make extra effort to eat fruits and veggies that are absolutely loaded with Vitamin C and foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds, chia, cashews, nuts and seeds, fish and egg yolks. The reason for this is Vit C and Omega 3 are both excellent anti-inflammatories that will ease both muscle and joint pain. So, ipso facto, you can eat yourself healthy. Who would have thunk it?
Armed with this information, hopefully, you can start to see the winter months in the same way that other lot do; the Cheshire Cat grinning, pumpkin-spiced latte loving, crispy leave kickers.