Winter often evokes memories of soft flannel pajamas, snowball fights, hot cocoa with marshmallows, and time spent around the fireplace with family and friends. The harsh reality of winter for many Seniors however is increased joint pain and stiffness due to arthritis.
Why Is Arthritis Worse in Winter?
Studies show many who suffer from arthritis experience worsening symptoms with changes in weather, especially in colder, rainier climates. A reliable explanation for pain increase during winter does not exist but there are several theories. One from creakyjoints.org suggests arthritis pain is caused by changes in barometric pressure, as the atmospheric changes from approaching cold fronts places extra stress on nerves. Lower temperatures increasing synovial fluid thickness is an alternative theory explaining the thickening of joints as they relate to stiffness. Bridge to Better Living cares about YOU and offers the following suggestions to help reduce pain of aching joints.
Bundle up and layer clothing to lessen aching joints’ exposure to the cold. Adding and removing layers is a simple, yet effective way of regulating body temperature. Always change out of wet clothing and wear slip resistant shoes outdoors to avoid icy falls.
It is important to be active in chillier weather. You may be tempted to bundle up by the fire and just relax but exercising is a better choice when dealing with arthritis pain. Light indoor exercise, for example virtual Zumba or yoga, increases blood flow and strengthens bones. Mobility helps ease joint stiffness and has the added benefit of keeping you warm.
Massages Are Helpful
Massages are a relaxing approach to soothe arthritis pain and reduce soreness. Muscle stiffness is gently relieved, and circulation is improved. Best of all you are left feeling pampered when the session is done. Try massaging feet and each achy joint routinely to reduce inflammation. Do not massage if there is a flare up or a noticeable irritation.
Take Care of Your body
An important factor for physical health is proper hydration. Sensitivity to pain, fatigue and anxiety from lack of hydration causes a shut down in immunity systems. Although sleep is not easy with arthritis pain do your best to establish a nightly routine. Avoid caffeine and electronic devices an hour or two before retiring. Identify and include in your diet arthritis super foods: fish, ginger, walnuts, spinach, and berries to name a few.
Placement is Everything
Joint pain and stiffness during winter months could be overwhelming and affect arthritis sufferers tremendously. Although Bridge to Better Living has shared the tips above to help you survive with less arthritis trauma through winter, environmental and daily needs could cause symptoms to exacerbate. Bridge to Better Living continues to practice Placement with Passion® as they consult, assist, and guide Seniors. The older respected generation deserves to have emotional, physical and medical needs met with respect and compassion. Bridge to Better Living understands. Contact them now to receive expert no-cost service for your or a loved one’s journey into Retirement Living.