For sufferers of arthritis and joint pain, winter’s arrival is felt in the knees. As temperatures drop, joints will naturally become stiffer — especially for those already struggling with a joint condition. What’s the reason for this? There are two main causes for increased pain in joints during cold weather.
- Blood Flow: As the temperatures drop, our bodies send less blood to the peripheral regions of our bodies (knees, elbows, etc.) as a way of increasing the blood flow to our core (heart and lung) regions. The result? Inflexible joints.
- Lack of Vitamin D: We spend fewer hours outside in direct sunlight during the winter. Therefore, we are exposed to less of the Vitamin D that strengthens our bones.
For sufferers of joint pain, there are a few things you can do to help keep your joints healthy, flexible, and pain-free throughout this season. As always, request an appointment with your joint specialist at the first sign of persistent pain — before the need for surgical intervention arises.
Tips for Protecting Your Knees In Cold Weather:
- Watch Your Diet: Your diet is your first defense in the fight for joint and bone health. Be sure your diet includes lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables, fibers, and dairy products.
- Stock Up On Vitamins: As we mentioned earlier, you are naturally going to get less of some of the essential vitamins for bone and joint health. Make sure you’re incorporating foods with vitamins D, K, and C into your daily meals.
- Limit Unhealthy Beverages: Alcohol, tea, and coffee reduce the amount of calcium your body can absorb and can work to weaken your bones. Try to significantly limit your intake of these beverages this winter.
- Get Moving: Unless your doctor has expressed concerns over you getting physical exercise on a daily basis, be sure to get your body moving this winter. This will increase flexibility, relieve some of the stress placed on your knees, and keep your bones in good condition all season. To up the value of your workouts, get outside for brisk walk earlier in the day or late in the afternoon to soak up some vitamin D.
- Relax in the Tub: For joint pain, there are few things that provide more relief than a warm bath. Soak in your tub at the end of a chilly day to raise your body temperature and restore flexibility to your joints.
Hopefully, with these tips in hand, you will enjoy a pain-free winter. If you’re dutifully incorporating these tips and still struggling with pain, it might be time to see your doctor and get evaluated. Call us today or visit our site to request an appointment.