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6 Ways to Prevent & Relieve Your Chronic Pain This Winter

Cold Weather and Joint Pain

As the holiday season approaches and the weather gets cooler, many patients with chronic pain may see their symptoms worsen — but why? First, cold temperatures can cause your joints to stiffen and ache. This is especially true if you have conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia, which can cause joint inflammation. Also, cold weather can worsen existing muscle pain, putting a damper on this festive time of year. On top of that, cold weather likely means we’re spending less time outside and more time seated, working, or relaxing indoors, which causes our joints to stiffen.

To keep your winter season merry and bright instead of stiff and sore, follow these tips from our network of pain specialists:

Winter Joint Pain Prevention Tips

1. Keep warm

Bundle up when going outside to prevent stiff joints from the cold weather, but don't let that stop you from moving your body. Physical activity can help relieve pain by releasing endorphins and keeping your muscles strong.

2. Adjust your diet.

Take advantage of winter fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits and leafy greens, which are high in anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate pain. Other great anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet include fatty fish and nuts. These can help reduce break-up inflammation in the joints, support your overall health, and alleviate pain symptoms.

3. Prioritize self-care.

Stay consistent with your self-care routine and listen to what your body needs during the winter months. It may be helpful to adjust certain activities or exercise routines to accommodate any changes. Make sure you're also getting enough rest and practicing stress management techniques, as both can have a major impact on chronic pain levels. Try meditation or deep breathing exercises to help relax and alleviate discomfort.

4. Stay active.

One of the best ways to prevent stiff joints: keep moving! It may be tempting to hibernate inside, but staying active can help improve circulation and reduce stiffness in your joints. Try indoor exercises like yoga or swimming, or head outside on warmer days.

Winter Joint Pain Relief Tips

1. Consider using a hot or cold compress.

Using a hot or cold compress on affected areas before bedtime or during periods of heightened discomfort can help you find relief during the bitter, colder months. Consider using heating pads or taking hot showers/baths to relax tense muscles and provide temporary relief from pain as well.

2. Talk to your doctor and seek specialized care.

It’s important to stay on top of your medication regimen and schedule regular check-ups with your doctor to manage your chronic pain effectively. You may also want to consider trying out alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage therapy for additional relief from chronic pain symptoms.

3. Consulting With a Pain Specialist

You may feel like you’re fine managing your pain on your own until your symptoms worsen. If you feel you’re experiencing more frequent pain flare-ups, seeing a pain specialist allows you to discuss possible adjustments to your treatment plan for the winter season. Everyone’s chronic pain is different and responds to different therapies. So an individualized approach to pain management is crucial.

Read More: 7 Treatments to Help Relieve Your Chronic Pain

Beat Your Chronic Pain

Overall, winter may bring about added discomfort for those who suffer from chronic pain, but by implementing these tips, you can find some relief and prevention during the colder months! If you're struggling to manage your chronic pain this winter, talking to a pain specialist can help you start your journey toward relief.

Our network of physicians are determined to help you find your individualized treatment plan that works for your pain. Find your nearest center online today, and contact us with any questions.

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