Fall is almost around the corner, and while the season can be quite enjoyable for many, it may not be the best for those with arthritis. Why? Because the cold weather can cause your arthritis pain to flare up, resulting in sleepless nights and uncomfortable days. This is why arthritis patients must plan ahead and make sure they are proactive when it comes to preventing pain and making sure they can enjoy the cold weather.
Studies by the Arthritis foundation claim that low barometric pressure can result in more pain and aches for people inside barometric pressure chambers. This clearly indicates that arthritis pain does increase during the winter months. This condition can be classified as non-inflammatory or inflammatory. People with inflammatory arthritis have inflammatory white blood cells in their joint fluids.
Some common types of inflammatory arthritis are gout, lupus arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. Non-inflammatory arthritis types include thyroid disease, arthritis, osteoarthritis, or arthritis that happens after an injury. Once winter is in full swing, arthritis pain can become incredibly uncomfortable and impact your quality of life.
It is worth keeping in mind that the cold weather is not the cause of arthritis. Instead, it just aggravates the joint pain that arthritis patients already face. So now, let us talk about some helpful tips to deal with increased arthritis pain during the winter season.
Layer Up and Stay Warm
One of the easiest ways to reduce joint pain is to layer up. Wearing gloves, a thick pair of jeans, and a sweater or jacket is an excellent way to protect your elbows, knees, and other sites where you feel pain. If the layers feel too warm, avoid taking them off entirely. A better option would be to peel them off individually to determine the ideal temperature while ensuring your arthritis pain is in check. Laying down in a hot tub or swimming in hot water are also excellent ways to relieve pain in cold weather.
Consume a Healthy Diet
Indulging in sweet and rich food is a surefire way to flare up your arthritis. This is especially true for rheumatoid arthritis patients, as things like processed foods, rich gravy, and extra sweet desserts can cause a fair bit of discomfort. In addition, holidays can be incredibly taxing for arthritis patients because of the weather and the variety of processed foods most of them eat. It also increases the risk of various other problems like cardiovascular diseases like osteoporosis.
Control Your Stress Levels
While no studies confirm whether stress can elevate arthritis pain, it can definitely affect people’s bodies. Mental stress, frantic cooking, shopping, running around, etc. can overtax the body and take a significant toll, resulting in increased joint pain. Practicing yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are excellent ways to slow down and relax, making sure arthritis patients do not indirectly aggravate the pain.
Exercise and Stay Active
Contrary to popular belief, exercise is an excellent way to reduce arthritis pain. Regular physical activity boosts energy and increases flexibility and strength, easing the pain considerably. According to the arthritis foundation, adults with no severe health conditions should consider engaging in at least 2 hours of aerobic activity at moderate intensity along with two strength training sessions per week. Doing so may help minimize arthritis pain during all seasons.
Compression Gloves Could Help
Compression gloves work almost like compression socks. They squeeze your joints to improve blood flow, reducing pain in the process. Some compression gloves can even trap heat to ensure your hands remain warm. Those who don’t have these gloves can use mittens as they are also quite warm.
Get Sufficient Vitamin D
Vitamin D is also referred to as sunshine vitamin and is produced whenever our bodies absorb sunlight. Alternatively, there are plenty of vitamin D food sources and supplements arthritis patients can use to keep the pain at bay, especially during the winter months. Rheumatoid arthritis patients with incredibly low levels of Vitamin D experience even more pain than others.
Low levels of vitamin D may also increase pain sensitivity in specific individuals, so it is important for men and women to get around six hundred IU of vitamin D daily through regular foods like cod liver oil or fortified cereal or supplements.
Soda can be a Deal Breaker
Soda is arguably the most dangerous thing for arthritis patients as it contains loads of sugar and empty calories. Consuming soda every day can cause inflammation and increase pain. Instead, try substituting soda with low sugar alternatives, hot tea, or lemon water.
Merely prioritizing your sleep and rest times can work miracles for your body. For example, if done consistently, rest can significantly reduce arthritis pain no matter what the weather is. On the other hand, poor sleep often results in fatigue and higher levels of pain, things that people can easily avoid by prioritizing rest.
Make Your Life Easy
There are plenty of assistive, neat gadgets out there, and they can be quite helpful for patients struggling with arthritis pain. For instance, electric can openers and jar openers can help ensure your hands get a break. Cardholders, no-hands embroidery frames, ergonomic furniture, wide key holders, etc., are other assistive devices that arthritis patients can use to ensure they don’t overstress their affected area.
Seek Professional Help
Some patients struggle to deal with arthritis pain during the cold weather even if they follow all of the tips discussed here. In such cases, seeking a doctor’s help would be best. Not doing so could result in anxiety and depression, making you miserable throughout the fall and beyond.
Now that you know about the best tips to deal with arthritis pain during the fall season, it’s time to start applying them in your life consistently to ensure you can enjoy things without the added pain and stress.