Winter joint pain got you down? If so, you’re among the majority. It turns out the ailment is all too common for folks seeking osteoarthritis relief. One study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders suggests that well over half of people with the condition—a whopping 67 percent of those surveyed—are indeed sensitive to cooler temperatures.
With icy temperatures in full swing, getting osteoarthritis relief may be easier than you think. If you’ve got weather-related joint pain, here are six expert-backed tips to help make your winter a little less painful.
6 Ways to Make Your Winter Less Painful
1. Stay Active
When it comes to joint pain relief, keeping active is key regardless of the season. Why? According to the Arthritis Foundation, physical activity is actually the best non-pharmaceutical way to stave off joint pain and improve function. What’s more, going into hibernation mode will likely lead to weight gain, which notoriously wreaks havoc on joints.
2. Stretch Regularly
Routinely stretching can deliver much-needed relief to achy joints. In fact, maintaining range of motion along with strengthening muscles can help keep swelling and stiffness at bay. For the knee, try leg raises, hamstring stretches or half-squats. For the lumbar spine, abdominal stretching and holding certain yoga poses can do wonders.
3. Visit a Chiropractor
If you’re searching for joint pain relief without surgery, chiropractic care is worth considering. Think of it as a complementary approach; it’s most effective when incorporated into an overarching treatment plan. Going with an experienced chiropractor is key as they’re specifically trained to safely relieve pain. (Resist the temptation to take a do-it-yourself approach here.)
4. Consider Physical Therapy
A physical therapist can help with joint pain relief in a number of ways. For starters, they can create a customized plan that’s tailored specifically for you. With their guidance, you’ll learn exercises that, according to the Arthritis Foundation, are aimed at improving strength, flexibility, coordination and balance. A skilled therapist can help you integrate these exercises into your everyday life through the winter months and beyond.
5. Mix in Thermotherapy
Thermotherapy is a fancy word for using heating and cooling methods to improve joint pain. This simple approach helps in two key ways: reducing inflammation and improving circulation. Heat therapy, which is especially soothing during the winter months, is linked to improved mobility and decreased pain.
6. Think Twice Before Taking OTC Pain Killers
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication isn’t a long-term solution for joint pain relief. It turns out acetaminophen, one of the most popular OTC drugs around, isn’t all that effective in providing osteoarthritis relief. For winter joint pain, non-drug treatments, as well as non-surgical approaches, are likely your best bet.
If you’re ready to finally get out from under winter joint pain, Health Star Clinic’s experienced team of doctors, nurses, chiropractors and physical therapists specialize in doing just that. What are you waiting for?