How to Manage Pain During the Winter Season

The oncoming of cold, damp air signals joint pain in many. With the winter season just around the corner, joints and muscle pain is something many people experience. It is important to understand the reasons behind why there is an increase in physical pain, during the winter season, and how to manage the pain.

Why Does Cold Weather Irritate Joints and Muscles?

Increased joint and muscles pains during winter. (Photo source: Freepik)

Fall in barometric pressure, (the pressure of atmospheric air), causes our joints, ligaments and muscles to contract and expand, causing pain and discomfort. Fluids in joints are also impacted by the change in air temperature. The pain between joints, ligaments is more noticeable in those who have arthritis. In addition, during the cold season, we tend to move around less which can further exacerbate the pain. Staying physically active during the winter season can be challenging with sore and stiff muscles.

Chronic Conditions that Worsen During the Winter Season

People who suffer from chronic conditions tend to feel more discomfort during the winter. Chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica pain and migraines bring on frequent flare ups during the cold season. In addition, those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) worsen during the winter due to a lack of vitamin D.

Ways to Avoid Pain During the Winter Season

Stay active, eat a healthy diet and get lots of vitamin D. (Photo source: Freepik)

There are many ways, such as getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and keeping warm to find relief from pain during the winter season:

  • Maintain Vitamin D Levels:
    With the winter season, we experience shorter days and colder days. This results in  spending less time outdoors, which results in getting the boost of vitamin D from the sun. It is important to maintain an intake of vitamin D during the winter months as it helps with inflammation and infections. Eating foods such as tuna, eggs, and mushrooms can help increase levels of vitamin D during the winter season.
  • Keep Active:
    Staying active during the winter season can be a challenge with the cold temperatures. Staying indoors, by a warm and cozy fire can be tempting. However, keeping active, even if it’s low impact, is essential to keep muscles moving and joints from becoming stiff. Activities such as yoga, indoor swimming, walking briskly and weight training all contribute to a healthy body and a healthy mind.
  • Reduce Alcohol:
    Reducing the intake of alcohol can help alleviate muscle and joint pain during the winter season. Increased alcohol consumption, especially during the holidays triggers muscle pain since alcohol causes the body to lose water, becoming dehydrated as alcohol, acting like a diuretic, causes your body to lose water and become dehydrated. This in turn causes muscle aches and pains. Instead, drink plenty of water and herbal teas.
  • Healthy Diet:
    Eating a well-balanced diet and getting sufficient sleep is paramount in ensuring you avoid muscle and joint pain during the winter season. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables (rich in antioxidants and vitamins), nuts and seeds (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids), whole grains and lean meats help avoid inflammation. 

How to Find Relief from Pain During the Winter Season

Winter tips: Stay warm and hydrated. (Photo source: Freepik)

While you may do everything right to avoid an increase in muscle and joint pain, during the winter season, you may still experience occasional flares up and inflammation. Here are some ways to find relief:

  • Stay Warm:
    When heading out, ensure you are dressed warmly. Keeping warm helps keep muscles and joints from stiffening up. Warm baths/warm packs, and heating pads can help with sore and aching muscles and increase blood flow. Please consult your doctor prior to using any heat therapy to see if it is a safe method for you.
  • Massage:
    Massage therapy helps with the manipulation of soft tissues, muscles, tendons and joints to help with soreness and stiffness brought on by the colder weather.
  • Meditation and mindfulness:
    Besides the traditional route to help alleviate pain during the winter weather, meditation has proven to be quite beneficial. The energy from mindful meditation allows one to focus on their breathing, focusing on parts of the brain that help reduce the pain.

Find Professional Helps

Simple Cures offers a number of treatments to help with body pain and pain relief. Please contact us and speak to a member of our team to see which treatment is right for you. We offer services such as massage therapy, flow taichi, acupuncture, just to name a few!