Cold and harsh weather can affect numerous aspects of our lives including daily routines and the way we go about them. When the weather is cold, everything feels a little different than it does when the sun is blazing and the air is warm. People are quite often a little more hesitant to venture outdoors hen the temperature drops.
When it comes to joints, many people who experience pain in these areas report that they notice a substantial difference when the weather is colder. Whether it be because of differences in air pressure that takes place in the cold-weather months, or whether it is the chill in the air itself that causes a change, fall and winter can be more challenging seasons for seniors’ joint pain.
For seniors who experience joint pain, there are some considerations and strategies specific to the cold-weather months that can help mitigate pain and make movement a little more comfortable.
Staying active and getting regular exercise is an important part of daily life for seniors all year round and can be especially helpful for helping to deal with joint pain. Physical activity helps keep the body more flexible and loosens joints that are experiencing pain and stiffness. There is a range of practical and accessible exercises for seniors that can take place indoors when venturing out in the cold seems unmanageable. Even something as simple as a short stroll on a regular basis can help make a difference.
Maintaining a healthy diet is always important for overall health and wellbeing, but making sure that seniors consume important nutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins, and fibers that help to keep the body in balance can also help reduce inflammation and therefore manage joint pain from within.
Here in Canada, it is often a great deal more difficult to get ample vitamin D when the weather is cold. Supplementing vitamin D or making conscious food choices to ensure that seniors and getting enough can help manage joint pain in the fall and winter.
Heading outside and venturing into the cold can feel more challenging when joint pain is a factor because exposure to the cold temperature can intensify the pain. Bundling up in layers and dressing appropriately for the weather can make going outside in the cold much easier and less stressful on the joints. Joint pain shouldn’t prevent seniors from heading outside or enjoying the outdoors when the weather is colder, they just need to make sure they are well covered and wear clothes and layers that will keep them and their joints warm.
Heating joints that are experiencing pain with things like hot water bottles, hot compresses, heating pads, or warm baths can help ease sore joints and make seniors more comfortable. The heat and warmth can be comforting in the cold and can help to reduce the intensity of joint pain.
Sore joints can have a major impact on the level of comfort that seniors experience in the cold-weather months, so making sure to tend to the problems before they begin to inhibit seniors’ lives is important. With a few purposeful strategies and considerations in mind, seniors can continue to enjoy the fall and winter despite the troubles they may encounter with their joints.