Ever heard the phrase chills settling in the bones? This is an age-old adage that has been used time and again to suggest how winters affect chronic pain conditions. In fact locals living in regions that are predominately cold have even coined this phenomenon as a ‘cold weather pain’.
Patients of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions complain of worsened pain in cold weather. This includes knee pain, hip pain, chest pain, back pain and even a hurting thorax.
There are many theories about why and how this happens. Some state that a drop temperature impedes blood flow, making circulation difficult and leading to stiffness and pain. Others claim that winters restrict physical activity and that’s why most people suffer.
Whatever the reasons may be, there are some tips to alleviate chronic pain during winters.
If it snows in your region, you’ll most likely be home-bound. This restricts physical activity which can aggravate your chronic condition. It’s best to keep moving and keep yourself warm. Be it at a fitness center or at a therapy clinic, it’s important to practice cardio exercises at least.
Staying hydrated maintains balance in your system and lubricates your joints. It also makes the process of secretion seamless and keeps your body in running condition. During winters, we often forget to drink enough water and that worsens the pain.
Check your Vitamin D
You may become Vitamin-D deficient during winters because of lack of sunlight. This is another common reason for why people report greater pain in their joints and muscles. Low levels of Vitamin D can also affect the functioning of your joints. It’s always better to get it checked and take supplements if you need.
Cold weather pains are a real problem and the only way to beat the cold is to warm yourself. A great way to do that is taking hot baths and saunas (if conveniently available to you). Your joints may stiffen during extreme cold and you need some warmth to get them moving again.
Even with all these precautions, some pains just refuse to go away!
This is where we come in. We’re a physical therapy clinic in Bethesda, Maryland and we offer physical therapy for chronic pain conditions. Our experts have been trained and supervised by Michelle Finnegan who has a professional degree in physical therapy. Contact us if you need more information on our services.