Arthritis is an umbrella term that covers about 100 different varieties of joint pain, including wear-and-tear arthritis (i.e., osteoarthritis) and the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis. However, other conditions can make your joints ache, including fibromyalgia and lupus.
If your joints get stiff and sore after being in repose for a while, you may especially dread the cold and blustery winter months. Without the soothing warmth of sunny days, and the regular exercise that you get outdoors, you may notice that your joints complain more than normal.
At Modern Wellness Clinic, our providers diagnose and treat joint pain for women and men in Las Vegas, Nevada. We keep you comfortable with a variety of therapies that rejuvenate, lubricate, or subdue inflammation in your joints, such as:
- Lifestyle changes
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
- Hyaluronic acid injections
- Prescription medications
However, you can make your own modifications based on your response to the cold, too. Following are a few tips to help your joints weather winter weather.
Keep warm and dry
When it comes to clinical studies, the jury’s out on whether cold weather actually worsens joint pain. But one aspect of winter weather that seems to influence swelling and stiffness is high humidity, particularly when accompanied by colder temperatures.
Even higher wind speed and lower barometric pressure can affect your joints. So, bundle up when outdoors and make sure your joints stay dry. If you need to trudge through snow, use waterproof outerwear.
Wear thermally insulating layers that you can peel off when you head indoors. You might look into leg warmers to give your knees and ankles extra protection.
One of the best “medicines” for achy joints is your own synovial fluid. You can only unleash this helpful lubricant when you actively use your joints.
Though you may feel like curling up under a blanket and watching TV with a cup of hot cocoa when the temperature dips, don’t make it a habit. Find a way to stay active even when it’s cold.
Invest in high-quality coats, scarves, hats, mittens, gloves, and boots. These can be especially helpful when you leave our relatively temperate city and head for your relatives’ homes in the middle of snowy Minnesota.
If you haven’t already, join a gym. That way, you can walk, run, lift weights, and keep those joints strong and flexible no matter what the weatherperson says.
Keep eating healthy
Colder months may make you reach for comfort foods, like cocoa and marshmallows, but resist the urge. If you can’t stomach the idea of a salad on a 39-degree night, whip up some vegetable soup.
Soups, stews and other warm liquids also keep your body temperature slightly elevated. And, if you make them yourself with plenty of fresh vegetables and high-quality proteins, they’re also extremely nourishing. They give your joints the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.
When you choose foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, you give your joints an extra boost. Turning down inflammation helps your joints avoid swelling and stiffness. Vitamin-C filled foods, like citrus, also helps you slow cartilage loss.
Somehow, it’s easier to remember hydration when Vegas’ summer sun is beating down on your head. But hydration is just as important for your health — and your joints — in the winter as it is in the summer.
Those soups and stews help to add extra hydration to your day. But continue to sip water and healthy, warm beverages such as unsweetened teas and even coffee throughout the day. You may also benefit from intravenous (IV) hydration therapy.
While it may be more challenging to lose weight in the winter than the summer, when those warmer months finally do roll around, more than your joints will thank you. Extra pounds put extra pressure on your joints and also raise your risk for chronic illness and early death.
If you need help losing weight while feeling satisfied, consider our medically supervised weight loss program. https://www.modernwellnessclinic.com/services/weight-loss We help you adopt healthier habits that are still delicious, but feed your body as well as your soul.
Don't hibernate this winter: Be active and get the help you need to keep your joints healthy by contacting us today. Phone our helpful office staff at 702-463-9159 or use our online booking form.