While the new year is here, we still have months of cold weather ahead of us. This cold can be difficult for those with chronic pain, and even the back-and-forth temperatures can wreak havoc on our bodies. Republic Pain Specialists can help you manage some of your chronic pain during the winter months. Try these strategies at home to help alleviate your pain and visit us when you need more help.
Why Does Cold Impact Us
There may be a lot of reasons the cold weather impacts pain more than warmer temperatures, such as a drop in barometric pressure that causes tissue in our body to swell. Seasons can also affect our moods and emotions, putting additional stress on our bodies. This adverse effect is especially true with holidays and family gatherings for many individuals. Those with chronic conditions have noted increased pain in the winter months as well.
Raise the Temperature
Getting your body warm can help reduce the chronic pain symptoms you may be experiencing. There are several ways to accomplish this. Warm baths and showers can be great options for your pain, as they grant you the ability to relax and take time for yourself. Adding Epsom salts or other similar products can help in a bath, too. Using a heating pad or electric blanket, with the proper caution, will also keep you warm. During the day, you may want to layer up and dress warmly when you need to move around the house, go to work, or run errands. Don’t forget socks and gloves to keep your extremities warm!
By staying active, rather than curling up under blankets, you can help reduce some of your inflammation and pain. Add stretching and light movement to start your day or before going outside; it will help loosen muscles and joints. Find an exercise that works for you and doesn’t add to your pain symptoms. Yoga, swimming, and light walking can be easy on your joints. Republic Pain Specialists can recommend a personal trainer to work with you to find other workouts too. You may find your chronic pain alleviated in any climate through movement, strengthening your body, and exercising regularly.
Take Care of Yourself
A critical part of managing chronic pain is taking care of your entire body, especially during the winter. We tend to consume extra during these months and move less as we enjoy celebrations and special gatherings. PennMedicine recommends you “[e]at a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, and get a good night’s sleep.” Finding the balance between healthy foods (like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains) and enjoying a treat now and then is crucial. Flushing your system with plenty of water will improve your overall well-being. You can also reduce the strain and stress on your joints by working to maintain a healthy weight.
Some (or all) of these may be needed for your overall health and the management of your chronic pain during the colder months. To learn more about how to manage your pain or to come up with a multimodal pain management plan, contact our team at Republic Pain Specialists. We want you to enjoy the entire year, not just a portion of it, and can help you do just that.