If your joints hurt during the winter, or you suffer from aches and pains more often than normal, then the cold weather is definitely to blame—and you are not alone. Cold weather often restricts mobility for many reasons. To start with, our muscles aren’t as loose in the cold, which may result in tighter joint mobility. Plus, changes in barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature are known to increase aches, as areas with worn down cartilage have more nerve exposure that reacts to changes in pressure.
If you are feeling acutely aware of every joint ache you have, try these tips to create optimal conditions for joint health.
The dry winter air quickly leads people to feel dehydrated and results in feelings of depletion and achiness. Drinking plenty of water is essential; it reduces inflammation and helps with joint pain symptoms. Hydration helps to provide moisture and fluid to the cartilage in the body, giving the joints the cushioning needed to reduce aches and pains. Helping to rejuvenate levels of synovial fluid—the substance that lubricates our joints—drinking more water keeps joints healthy and helps them feel shock-absorbed.
Keep your muscles warm
Continuing to be mobile and keeping your joints active is essential for upholding their healthy condition. Becoming sedentary will only make joint pain worse and keeping your muscles warm makes it easier to remain on the move. If your health allows for it, consider using heating pads or heated blankets, when possible, to keep your muscles full of blood and relaxed, allowing your joints to move smoothly. When you go outside, dress warm and keep your body insulated with layers, leggings, sweaters, and other items of clothing that will provide warmth around the joints.
Consider supplements or vitamins
It is important to keep a well-rounded, healthy diet to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs. But, if you are experiencing extra pain, speak to your doctor about the possibility of supplementing your diet with additional vitamins. Some of the most common vitamins that may help joint pain include:
- Omega3 fatty acids: Naturally found in foods like fish or nuts, many people take fish oil supplements to help decrease inflammation. Beyond that, they help to limit the production of proteins that can make arthritis worse.
- Vitamin C: Beyond its capacity to boost the immune system and help fight winter colds and flus, Vitamin C fights inflammation by helping to synthesize collagen—the main protein that is in joint tissue and in bone. Plus, you will have the added benefit of boosting your immune system and overall health in the process.
- Magnesium: Found in many types of nuts, magnesium works to strengthen bones and aid nerve and muscle functioning which helps to keep cartilage healthy, thereby easing joint pain, inflammation, and arthritis.