The first snow in Southeastern Michigan arrived in a blast last night and has just about melted away. Though the snow didn’t last long, we are all now preparing for the cold weather months and for many the experience of increased joint and muscle pain.
To help you reduce the impact of the cold weather on your well-being and mobility, we want to offer you a few simple but helpful ways you can move through these chilly months with less pain.
1. DRESS IN LAYERS
During the autumn, we often experience a surprising blend of warm days and cold days. Unless you are an individual who pays attention to weather forecasts (and trusts them!), dress in layers so that you can adjust your body temperature with these shifts. The ability to easily add or subtract clothing can curtail extremes and the pain that can accompany them.
2. WARM UP YOUR MUSCLES FIRST
When you are about to leave your house and go outside, take a few minutes to stretch or walk in place to loosen and warm up your muscles. These simple movements can reduce the tightening of your muscles and joints as you experience the change in temperature – and as a result, reduce potential pain.
3. ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF A WARM BATH
A warm bath is soothing to joints and muscles according to the Arthritis Foundation and can reduce pain. It is important, however, to avoid going into the cold after a warm bath as this will counter your efforts quickly. Allow your body temperature to normalize first.
4. FIND A GOOD MASSAGE THERAPIST
In June 2015, The Journal for Alternative and Complementary Medicine, released a study that examined the impact of massage on knee osteoarthritis. They were able to measure a notable reduction in joint pain as a result of massage therapy.
5. USE GLOVES, HATS AND SCARFS
Though it takes a little getting used to, as the weather turns cold, make a point of using gloves, hats and scarfs to reduce direct cold to sensitive joints and muscles. This method for reducing pain is particularly effective for individuals with arthritis.
As we often say, take care of your body and it will take care of you!