As the winter months approach, many seniors begin to feel joint pain due to the cold weather. This can be incredibly uncomfortable and even debilitating for some older adults. Joint pain during cold weather is often caused by reduced blood flow, stiff joints, joint swelling, and decreased range of motion, but it doesn't have to slow you down!
What Causes Cold-weather Joint Pain in Seniors?
Cold-weather joint pain in seniors can be caused by several factors. As mentioned previously, reduced blood flow to joints causes the muscles and tendons around the joints to stiffen, which leads to soreness and a decreased range of motion. Cold weather is also known for causing an increase in swelling and inflammation, making existing conditions such as arthritis even worse. The cold can further aggravate any underlying issues that contribute to chronic joint pain.
Tips to Manage Cold-weather Joint Pain
Fortunately, there are ways to manage cold-weather joint pain. Here are five tips to help seniors stay active during the winter months in San Diego.
1. Dress Appropriately
Wearing warm clothes and layers of clothing is essential in cold weather as it helps maintain body heat and keeps joints warmed up. Be sure to wear shoes with extra cushioning and support if arthritis affects your feet or ankles.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise can keep muscles strong around joints to prevent further discomfort caused by stiffness or swelling due reduce blood flow. Per your doctor’s go-ahead, try low-impact exercises like walking or yoga for added stability when exercising outdoors in the winter weather.
3. Take Hot and Cold Baths
Soaking your joints in a hot or cold bath can provide relief from aches, pains, and joint inflammation before the onset of symptoms, and it can also relieve any existing discomfort. Simply run a lukewarm bath for 10 minutes two to three times per week followed by an ice bath for three minutes after. This will prove effective over time and reduce painful sensations.
4. Use Heat and Cold Therapy
Alternate between utilizing a heating pad on sore spots to create warmth before going outside and wrapping those same areas afterward with something cool such as an ice pack. This simple combo will go far towards alleviating discomfort caused by the changing temperatures we experience during the winter months.
5. Eat an Anti-inflammatory Diet
Eating certain foods has been known to reduce inflammation levels. This often results in decreased pain associated with joint conditions like arthritis, as well as with symptoms that develop due to prolonged exposure to temperatures throughout our region's many microclimates come winter. Foods full of omega fatty acids (like salmon or chia seeds) all help combat pain while plant-based alternatives such as turmeric produce similar benefits without saturated fats.
Learn How Senior Helpers San Diego Can Help
Cold-weather joint pain does not have to be a hindrance this winter for seniors in San Diego, Chula Vista, Hillcrest, or Point Loma areas. By following the tips provided above and monitoring your own symptoms, you can enjoy the cold coastal weather instead of dreading it! For more tips and tricks on managing joint pain, contact Senior Helpers San Diego. Our in-home caregivers can help keep seniors safe this winter.