If you suffer from joint pain such as arthritis or osteoarthritis, you will know that the colder months can make pain management trickier.
While exercise, diet and over the counter medicines are recommended for treating such conditions, winter can make symptoms harder to bear, and in some cases complementary medicine may be necessary to provide further relief.
Below is a guide to pain management for problems such as arthritis during the colder months, and how complementary therapy can help provide an overall sense of comfort and stress relief when the going gets tough.
Warm water and gentle exercise can be very helpful for soothing painful joints, so during the cooler months you may want to consider taking up swimming. Spending a few minutes in a hot sauna after a swim can provide additional benefits – helping to ease pain, increase mobility and enhance feelings of well-being.
Take Vitamin D supplements
With less visible sunlight in the winter, it is inevitable that our Vitamin D levels will suffer. Vitamin D deficiency is thought to make problems such as osteoarthritis worse, so keep your levels up by taking supplements. Also make sure you are getting plenty of Vitamin D through your diet. For more information, please see our latest blog.
Get a massage
Massage can help ease cramped muscles and pain around your joints, which may be making your condition worse. There are lots of different types of massage and depending on your condition, your therapist will choose the most appropriate treatment. Massage therapy is also highly relaxing.
The colder months can bring ice and snow, which can be particularly hazardous for people with pain in the joints. Make sure you wear solid, supportive shoes when you go outside and be mindful of icy patches.
Avoid unhealthy drinks
Beverages such as alcohol, tea and coffee can reduce the amount of calcium the body absorbs, so cut down on these over the winter months to keep your bones as strong as possible. Water and fresh juice are healthier alternatives.
Practise mindfulness meditation
Studies have shown that mind and body practices such as mindfulness, yoga and meditation can help people with arthritis to better manage their symptoms. By regulating emotions, these activities can help people to cope better with pain and feel less troubled by their condition.