Joint care for winters
Your joints are the connections between your bones that allow you to bend your elbows, knees, neck, hips and more. Like our bones, as we age it’s common for our joints to start to wear down and cause conditions like osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that affects over a third of adults age 60 and older. Or, overusing a particular joint throughout our lives can also result in pain and lead to restricted movement and flexibility. Sometimes, our joints can become so worn down that even the simplest of movements, like reaching for a glass on a shelf, can be nearly impossible.
You might be getting older, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be subjected to a life of painful movement and decreased mobility. It’s never too late to start making lifestyle changes that can improve your quality of life.
It's not all in your head! Winter weather, especially cold weather, can cause slow, achy joints, making it difficult to get moving. According to one theory, a drop in barometric pressure causes muscle, tendon, and surrounding structures to expand. Joint and bone pain is caused by a lack of available space within the body.
A person who already has arthritis may experience pain flare-ups during the winter. The cartilage on joints erodes in arthritis, exposing nerves. These exposed nerves become extremely sensitive to even minor pressure changes. As a result, changes in barometric pressure during the winter may cause pain in arthritis-affected joints.
In the winter, blood vessels constrict, resulting in reduced blood flow to the joints. This may also result in joint pain and inflammation.
Joint pain can be caused by many types of injuries or conditions. It may be linked to arthritis, bursitis, and muscle pain. No matter what causes it, joint pain can be very bothersome. Some things that can cause joint pain are:
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Chondromalacia patellae
- Crystals in the joint -- gout (especially found in the big toe) and CPPD arthritis (pseudo gout)
- Infections caused by a virus
- Injury, such as a fracture
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Septic arthritis (joint infection)
- Unusual exertion or overuse, including strains or sprains
Another cause of joint pain is a deficiency in vitamin D. We typically spend the winter indoors, with little to no exposure to sunlight. This causes a decrease in vitamin D absorption as well as muscle and joint pain.
Here are some suggestions to assist you with the discomfort caused by the cold if you're looking for winter joint pain relief.
- Keep it moving
Even in the cold, it's imperative to keep your body moving. Even though you shouldn't attempt to manage severe joint discomfort without a doctor's supervision, stiff or sore joints shouldn't make you give up working out altogether.
In the winter, we frequently feel less driven and more eager to stay inside where it's warm and comfortable. Particularly when a vigorous walk necessitates donning layers of clothing, Netflix and the couch seem to call. When at all possible, resist the siren song of the TV and keep your body engaged and moving. Your joints will stay healthy if you engage in low-impact exercise. To keep your body active and fit, try weight training, yoga or Pilates, stretches, brisk walking, and indoor swimming in a warm pool.
- Get enough sleep.
A good night's sleep is essential for maintaining healthy joints. According to MedlinePlus, if you have arthritis, sleeping eight to ten hours at night and taking naps during the day can help you recover from joint flare-ups faster. Unfortunately, many Americans do not get enough sleep. If you are one of them, having a regular bedtime can help you meet your sleep needs.
- Eat a healthy diet
All seasons of the year require a balanced diet. A balanced diet will keep your body healthy over the winter, preventing you from being run down from illness and the accompanying aches and pains. The value of a balanced diet remains true even though science is still debating whether certain foods have a direct impact on joint discomfort.
A variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and entire grains should be consumed. Steer clear of processed foods and foods that are heavy in sugar or saturated fat. Consult your doctor to determine the best course of action if you have food sensitivities. A healthy diet also ensures that you are obtaining a variety of vitamins and minerals, which are two additional advantages.
- Increase your intake of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.
According to MedlinePlus, getting enough of these nutrients is important for joint health, and you can find them in a variety of foods. Snack on walnuts and pumpkin seeds, for example. Flax seeds can be sprinkled on yogurt, oatmeal, and salads. Instead of butter, cook with canola or sunflower oil. Add walnut, pumpkin seed, or hemp oils to sauces or low-heat baking recipes, or use them to lightly sauté foods. Aim for two servings of omega-3-rich fish per week, such as salmon, sardines, tuna, lake trout, herring, or anchovies.
- Take supplements for joint health
A well-known nutrient called calcium has a strong connection to good bone and joint function. It is the nutrient linked to assisting in the formation of bones and teeth and maintaining their strength. Particularly in the knee joints, calcium and magnesium can be helpful in lowering discomfort and inflammation in the joints. We at Rawleigh are here to help you with pain-free joints all year round. Especially for this month, we have Cal-Mag at 10% off for you. Check it out on our website today!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is recommended that a physician be consulted before taking any supplements. Results are not typical and may vary.