The cold, damp weather in the wintertime plagues our patients with osteoarthritis at the clinic. With the weather not set to improve for several months yet, it’s high time we shared our pro tips for tackling any increase in pain levels.
A thermal layer goes a long way in keeping the heat in and pain levels lower when you’re out and about in the cold weather. Don’t let the cold prevent you from getting moving in the Winter, as arthritis almost always benefits from keeping joints mobile.
A good thermal layer is thin enough to fit under your normal clothes, so there’s no extra considerations to make!
Don’t Stop Moving!
It might be tempting to curl up under the duvet and not come out until April, but we know that this makes arthritic pain a lot worse… Muscle mass and strength help to bolster Arthritic joints and keep them working. Some arthritic pain actually comes from the muscles trying to compensate for poor joint quality – so it makes sense to look after your muscles.
If going walking in the wet and windy weather really doesn’t appeal to you, try switching up your exercise. Strengthening yoga or Pilates classes are low impact and amazing to helping to stay mobile in the face of osteoarthritis.
Use your Arsenal
If you already come to see an Osteopath or Sports Therapist to help with your arthritic pain, they will have taught you a few tricks you can use when your pain flares up. Consulting with an expert can provide you with an “Arsenal of Tools” (as I like to call it!) that are at your disposal when you need them.
Teaching patients ways of continuing their normal activities, and moderating to reduce discomfort with Osteoarthritis is all part of the job when you’re a Physical Therapist.
This might include special exercises or stretches, a heat or ice routine, supplements, or particular muscle balms that contain magnesium.
Ask your practitioner to teach you some tools the next time you see them!