Reducing Joint Pain in the Winter
Now that the winter season is upon us, for many seniors it is that time of year where they start experiencing joint pain. A majority of seniors who deal with chronic joint pain feel as though their symptoms get worse with the weather. In fact, many seniors claim they are able to predict changes in the weather based on the feeling in their joints alone.
Joint pain may be a common issue in the winter months, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that seniors can do to help reduce the amount of pain they feel during this time of year.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
The better seniors eat, the better their bodies will be able to handle joint pain. A healthy diet can help reduce inflammation and joint pain in the body and help seniors maintain high energy levels during this time of year. A great diet for those with joint pain includes healthy fats from nuts, oils and seeds, and a diet filled with lean proteins and leafy green vegetables.
- Get Moving
It can be hard to want to stay active when you are experiencing joint pain, but it is very important for seniors who experience this type of pain in the winter to stay as active as possible. Low impact exercises are best for people with this type of discomfort. Walking on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike, swimming at your local gym and doing yoga can all help seniors stay active without putting too must pressure on their aching joints.
- Dress Warm
The warmer your senior loved one can dress during this time of year the better. Joint pain can be made worse by cold temperatures. The warmer your loved one can stay, the more soothing it will be on their joints. Encourage them to dress in layers and dress warmer than they normally would, it can help them stay more comfortable.
- Add Vitamin D and Calcium to their Diet
Since our main source of vitamin D comes from the sun, it can be really difficult to get enough vitamin D in the wintertime. Add some vitamin D supplements to your loved one’s diet to help with their joint pain and make sure to include joint-boosting calcium as well.
- Apply Heat for Pain
When seniors have uncomfortable joints, heat is always a smart option in the winter. A heating pad or warm bath can go a long way in keeping seniors more comfortable.
- Consider Massage
A massage is a great way to improve circulation and reduce pain in sore joints. It is also a great option for seniors with arthritis as well.
Keep these tips in mind this winter, and all year long if your senior loved one is dealing with seasonal joint pain. The more they can do to naturally keep their pain at bay, without adding numerous pain medications, the better they will feel all season long.
- Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..
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