Best Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain This Winter

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( — December 13, 2016) — The pain of arthritis is permeating, chronic, and for some people, even constant. Come winter and the colder seasons, that pain becomes harder to manage. After following your doctor’s advice and taking medication as needed, you may still be looking for relief. Here are the best ways to manage your arthritis pain this winter, with advice gathered from pain management specialists like Champey Pain Group and arthritis sufferers alike.

1. Dress Warmly

If cold is the trigger for exasperated joint pain, then staying warm is key to fighting that pain. Dress warmly in winter months. When going outdoors, don’t skip the gloves or scarf or hat. Layer up for added warmth, and add extra layers over your legs and knees as needed.

2. Warm Water

Another way to stay warm and loosen up during the cold months is in warm water. Find a heated pool in your area, and ideally, add in some water exercise with an instructor. The warmth of the pool plus the movement can do wonders for your joints. Just be careful to dry off well and not go out into the cold while still wet. Alternatively, try taking a warm bath and soaking in Epsom salts. The warm bath helps stimulate circulation, and the magnesium found in Epsom salts may help reduce inflammation.

3. Get Moving

The pain caused by arthritis may mean you’re inclined to sit still a lot. But daily movement, despite the pain and cold, is important in order to keep your range of motion. Since walking outdoors may not be an option for you, consider walking indoors, following along with a light exercise video, or taking up yoga classes that suit your movement range.

4. Good Posture

Bad posture is a plague of our times. We live sedentary lifestyles, with long hours of sitting at desks and in front of screens. This leads to pain in many forms and can be a culprit in increased arthritis pain. To combat this, get moving as stated above, and make sure you maintain good posture when sitting. Also, add in stretching to your daily routine (yoga is a great way to do this), and make sure you’re wearing supportive shoes.

5. Drink Plenty of Water

When cold weather rolls around, a lot of people experience a decrease in thirst, or find the constant winter runs to the bathroom inconvenient. Well, drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is important for optimal bodily function and for flushing toxins out of the blood stream. That makes it important for managing arthritis pain, too. For colder weather, if plain water isn’t hitting the spot, treat yourself to some herbal teas, either unsweetened or sweetened, with a little bit of honey.

6. Watch your Diet

Eating healthy is a highly underrated form of pain management. Stick to a diet of mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, plus lean meats. Eat local and organic whenever possible. Consider cutting out foods that cause inflammation, like gluten, dairy, and refined sugars. These foods are different for everyone, so you may want to get tested for food allergies or try an elimination diet for foods you suspect may be aggravating your arthritis pain.

7. Add-in Supplements

Alongside your healthy diet, here are a few supplements to consider taking, especially in winter time: Vitamin D and Calcium. Turmeric, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, can be cooked into food or warmed into milk with honey. Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in walnuts, green leafy vegetables like spinach and krill oil.

8. Pick Up Those Needles

Knitting, crochet and cross-stitch are all great for hand arthritis. They can help manage pain and also maintain dexterity in your hands. As a bonus, your knitted pieces make great gifts for loved ones during the winter season, or they can be donated to charity.

9. Alternative Treatments

There are several alternative treatments you can consider for arthritis. Try a professional massage, or even an at-home massage with olive oil. Some people have benefited from acupuncture, or cupping, both forms of ancient Chinese medicine. You can also consult your pain management specialist like Champey Pain Group to find other ways to treat your symptoms.

10. Manage Your Stress

Finally, remember that mind and body are closely interlinked. During these winter months, be kind to yourself. Don’t take on more than you can manage, physically or emotionally. And make sure you get a good balance of social interaction and spending time with loved ones, but also finding that time to take care of yourself.

About Champey Pain Group

Dr. Edward J. Champey, MD specializes in Advanced Interventional Pain Management in New Jersey. He is Board Certified Anesthesiologist who has personally performed all Pain Management procedures at Mine Hill Surgical Center, located in Morris County, NJ.

At the Champey Pain Group we approach each patient to improve function, repair injured tissues, decrease pain, and improve their quality of life. We provide high-quality care to our patients in accordance with Accepted and Recognized Standards while offering treatment for chronic and acute pain sufferers. Our mission is to reduce or eliminate reliance on prescription medication and to avoid possible surgery.