During the winter months, cold weather can exacerbate pain, particularly in the joints. As temperatures get lower, blood circulation to our extremities decreases, causing muscles to spasm and aches to set in. Fortunately, pain during winter is not inevitable. There are many ways to manage and reduce cold-induced pain.
Here are a few tips for you to employ this winter season.
It may sound obvious, but wearing warm clothes during the winter months will help improve circulation, especially to areas where blood vessels are the smallest, such as the fingers and toes. These are common areas where joint pain can occur. Even if you’re only going outside to take the trash out, wearing gloves and warm clothes can help prevent joint pain flare-up. If you’re going out in the snow, wear waterproof boots, so the snow doesn’t reach your skin.
Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D is derived from sunlight, and because there are shorter days during the winter months, our exposure to sunlight is minimized. Adequate vitamin D helps strengthen bones and lowers your risk of bone conditions such as osteoporosis. Low vitamin D levels can also cause increased muscle pain and fatigue. In the winter months, it can help to take a vitamin D supplement with approval from your doctor. You can even ask your doctor for a prescription-strength supplement if your vitamin D levels are particularly low.
It’s easy to overlook exercise during the winter months when it’s cold outside. However, exercising even for a short amount of time each day can decrease joint stiffness, improve muscle strength, and help keep bones strong. If it’s too cold to exercise outside, you can join a gym or get some simple exercise equipment for your home, such as a set of weights. There are plenty of exercise videos online for every type of person – you are bound to find exercises suited to your needs.
See a Doctor
If your pain is unmanageable during the winter months, it may warrant a visit to your doctor. If you’ve tried self-care measures such as heat, exercise, and over-the-counter pain-relieving medications and they haven’t helped, your doctor may be able to offer other suggestions for treatment. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or supplements. In some cases, they may recommend physical therapy and other innovative treatments to help with joint stiffness and pain.
Pain Management in Melbourne, Florida
If you are experiencing pain and stiffness during the winter months, our expert team of doctors and nurse practitioners at NIVA Health are here to help. We can recommend treatments to help you get back to living a pain-free life. We offer a variety of treatments such as trigger point injections and platelet-rich plasma therapy to help with musculoskeletal pain.
If you have questions or would like to make an appointment with one of our providers, call our office today at a NIVA Health location near you. You can also schedule an appointment using our online appointment request form. Our friendly staff can answer any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you soon!