The poet, George Herbert said, “Every mile is two in winter”. Your Great Aunt always said she could “feel” a storm was brewing… if you suffer from joint pain those words probably resonate with you during the cold winter months.
But why do joints feel stiffer and more painful in cold weather? Why is it that a brisk walk in the crisp winter air leaves you being almost unable to get your key in the front door when you return home?
A good way to imagine what is going on inside those stiff and achy joints is to imagine the tissues surrounding the joint as a balloon. When air pressure is low, the balloon (the tissues) around the joint will expand a little. These expanding tissues then put pressure on the joints, making them feel stiff, tight or painful. So if you hear someone “predicting” the weather by the feelings in their joints, they may just be correct…
Whether your aches and pains seem to be linked to changes in the weather or not, there are two simple steps you can take to lower the risk of those painful flare ups:
1: Eat Well
It may seem like healthy eating is the predictable answer to all health problems, but there are certain foods that can go a long way in helping to manage joint pain and discomfort.
Omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and nuts which can lessen inflammation).
Vitamin K (such as spinach, cabbage and kale that contain pain alleviating properties).
Vitamin C (such as oranges, red peppers and tomatoes that can help to manage cartilage loss as a result of arthritis.
2: Keep Moving
One of the reasons for cold weather being linked to joint pain is that people are less likely to exercise regularly when it’s cold and wet outside. Exercise helps to lubricate joints to prevent pain – so whereas spending the winter months curled up on the sofa may seem appealing, your joints certainly won’t thank you for it.
If the wrath of the winter weather seems just too harsh to exercise outside at all, then why not join a gym or simply take part in some home based workouts? If you suffer from joint pain, remember to choose low-impact aerobic exercises that are gentle on the joints. Walking, yoga and Tai Chi are all great ways to increase your range of motion. Gentle weight lifting can also help in building strong muscles for joint support.
Here’s to a joint-healthy winter!
Take your first step towards better health and call us on 01782 848 184 today
From the team at City Chiropractic Clinic
Our Chiropractors in Stoke on Trent are here to help you