How To Deal With Winter Aches And Pains
Winter is officially here and with it comes cold weather, snowstorms, freezing rain and icy roads. It is a long season for those living in the northeast— especially if you are one to suffer from increased pain and stiffness during the wintertime. Our body reacts to weather in different ways, especially when it’s cold and rainy outside.
The reason that we feel more stiffness and pain during the colder months is due to a change in barometric pressure. Cold weather drops the barometric pressure outside which causes the pressure inside of our joints to increase. If there are any arthritic changes in those areas, then they become more painful and stiff.
Cold weather may also lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. People spend less time outside during the colder months and tend to eat more comfort food. This can lead to increased weight gain which also puts more load on your body. In addition, our pain receptors are far more sensitive in the cold, making pain feel more unbearable than before.
All of these factors help lead to the cause of more pain and stiffness during the winter season. However, you do not have to suffer with discomfort over the winter months. In fact, in this week’s blog, we will discuss a few ways that you can keep your body loose and less stiff this winter:
Perform daily stretches
Stretching is one of the easiest ways to warm up and loosen the body. These can be stretches that you do first thing in the morning or a yoga class at your local studio or gym. Whatever your choice may be, stretching is a great way to lengthen and loosen your muscles which will help heat up your body too.
As we said earlier, it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise during the colder months. Nobody really feels like going outside and doing anything, especially working out. However, exercise is an essential aspect to our health. We are not meant to live a sedentary lifestyle and in doing so you are running the risk of developing a number of potential health issues, including pain and muscle stiffness.
Visit your chiropractor
We often say in our office, “motion is lotion” and it’s true. In order for the joints of our spine and extremities to be healthy and function freely, they need two things; they need to be properly aligned and they need motion. When there are misalignments in the spine and extremities, then pain and dysfunction sets in causing a lack motion in those areas. Waste builds up and nutrients can’t get in. Getting chiropractic adjustments helps restore the proper biomechanics and normal motion to the spine and extremities and is a great way to stay loose and feel good over the winter.
One of the ways our body can experience stiffness is due to being cold, so dressing warm is one of the easiest solutions. When you are out and about, considered dressing warmer than you usually would. I am not saying to wear five layers of clothes to the food store, but consider investing in warm socks, gloves, and even a scarf. Some additional layers can help lead to the body trapping in more warmth and reducing that cold pressure in the joints.
Take a hot shower or bath
This is another easy way to reduce any stiffness in the body. A hot shower or bath is relaxing to not only the physical body, but even mentally. Other options for this tip is enjoying time in a hot tub or even sauna. Whatever option you chose, just a little time in the warmth can help alleviate any pain or discomfort temporarily. Avoid heating pads as they may cause burns.
Schedule a massage
Massage is a great way to stay loose over the winter. It can help to alleviate specific locations of tension. Some places even use hot stones which not only feels good but can be therapeutic as well. This works very well if you have a specific massage therapist that you like to go to because they know how much pressure you like as well as your body’s needs. If you find yourself struggling for the time and/or money to schedule a massage, consider booking one ahead of time and set some money aside for that appointment. Or consider asking for your birthday or the holidays a gift card to a local massage business. This will help to give yourself some well deserved self care. If you have a medical condition, please check with your healthcare provider first before scheduling a massage.
These are just a few of the ways that you can help to alleviate any possible pain and stiffness that you may be feeling this winter. Ultimately, you know your body and its needs best so customize your care based off your preference. The important thing is that you know it is possible to experience pain relief over the winter, even when you feel like you have tried everything.