Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO
While Houston by no means sees what much of the country might call “cold weather,” the coming months will bring some temperature drops, causing arthritis flare-ups for many. The connection between arthritis and cold weather is not an old wive’s tale. It’s true that colder temperatures (and possibly other changes in the weather) can affect stiff and achy joints.
5 Tips for Managing Arthritis Pain In the Cold
If you experience arthritis flare-ups in cold weather, consider following some of these tips for managing your aching joints this winter…
- Pile on the layers. Wearing many layers of clothing can help insulate joints and keep you warm. Don’t forget the gloves – you may even consider wearing a silk liner inside your gloves for extra insulation.
- Stay hydrated. It’s important to stay hydrated. Insufficient fluids can cause joint pain to become more severe.
- Swim indoors. Indoor swimming (or even just a warm bath) may help soothe your joints during cold weather months. It’s not just about the warm water. Exercise can be helpful for managing symptoms of arthritis. Joints that are kept moving have less opportunity to stiffen up.
- Take NSAIDs. If your joint inflammation is interrupting your daily life, talk to your doctor about taking an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen. Even small doses may help provide the relief you need to get through cold spells.
- Consider losing weight. If you are overweight, consider taking the next couple of months to lose weight through diet and exercise. By reducing your overall weight, you reduce the amount of stress put on your joints. Of course, there are countless other benefits associated with dropping down to a healthy weight range. If you’re not sure if weight loss is right for you, talk to your doctor.
If you have arthritis, know that you’re not alone. In fact, half of all adults in the U.S. over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with arthritis. Joint pain, stiffness, swelling and other symptoms don’t have to keep you from living your best life. Learn more about arthritis and your options at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by taking our online assessment.
Arthritis? See an Orthopedic Doctor In Houston
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.