Arthritis is no fun any time of the year, but as cold weather creeps in, the condition can quickly get considerably more painful. Here are five tips to help you cope with arthritis this winter:
1. Wear Warm Clothes
Sometimes the best advice is the simplest. Although it may seem obvious, wearing warm clothes will make a world of difference when it comes to the effects of cold weather on arthritis. Make sure you wear a coat every time you go outside.
Additionally, many of us keep our homes at different temperature levels than our workplaces. Make sure you prepare for these varying temperatures by wearing layers. That way youll not only be warm at all times, but youll also have the ability to remove layers in case you get too hot. Youll be prepared for anything, whether youre at home, in the office, outdoors, or at a job where youre constantly going indoors and outdoors.
2. Protect Your Extremities
Protection is the number one way to reduce health risks of any kind. Hospital operating rooms should use electrosurgical smoke evacuatorsto protect surgeons from ingesting potentially toxic surgical smoke, and people who suffer from arthritis should use gloves, hats, and scarves to protect their extremities during winter.
Your extremities are particularly susceptible to the pain-inducing effects of cold weather. Make sure you wear gloves or mittens when going outside. Also, while the old wives tale that 90% of your body heat escapes through your head is false, it is still very important to wear a hat when going outside in the winter. A thick knitted or fleece hat is best, and ear flaps are an added bonus. If your hat is too small to cover your ears, you can wear earmuffs as well. Wear a scarf if necessary.
The goal here is to cover exposed areas. When indoors, if your hands are cold and gloves are too cumbersome, get some hand warmers or a similar product. Even a hot cup of tea can help surprisingly well in soothing the winter chills.
3. Stay Dry
Make sure to take off wet garments! While it may not be as obvious as layering, wet clothes can have a disastrous effect on arthritis. Make sure you change your socks whenever you get water in your shoes. Also make sure to let your shoes dry out thoroughly. Put your shoes in a dryer to speed up the process, or try stuffing newspaper in them if they are fragile.
As always, exercise is a great way to help ward off arthritis pain. Exercise in the winter months in particular will help warm you up. There is no better way to relieve stiff, achy muscles than exercise. However, make sure you dont overdo it, and be sure to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.
5) Make Sure You Are Taking Your Medication
As arthritis pain can be considerably worse in the winter, it is even more important than usual to see your doctor and make sure your medication is up to date. Cold months are really not the time to get lazy about your health! You may even want to look into holistic and herbal remediesfor arthritis pain.
These are just a few of the ways to help control your arthritis this winter. As always, every person is different. Be sure to talk to your doctor for more personalized advice.
Michelle Rebecca is a blogger and freelancer. Shes written about almost every topic under the sun, and loves constantly learning about new subjects and industries while shes writing. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs. Follow her on Twitterand Google+.