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Managing pain

5 tips to manage arthritis pain this winter


Catriona Williams

Director, talkhealth partnership

Cold and damp weather go hand in hand throughout the winter months, both of which can cause misery for those living with joint pain and arthritis.

Although it may seem easier to stay bundled up on the sofa to keep your aching joints still, inactivity can cause your joints to become even stiffer and ultimately do more to worsen your symptoms. See our list of tips to ease arthritis and joint pain so you can get outside and enjoy the festivities:

Stay hydrated:

Even mild cases of dehydration can make you more sensitive to pain. Drinking plenty of water can flush the toxins out of your body, which can reduce inflammation and lubricate joints. Indulging in a lot of alcohol over the Christmas period can dehydrate you, so if you are going to any boozy Christmas parties make sure you’re sipping plenty of water in between each alcoholic drink.

Wrap up warm:

It seems simple enough, but keeping all your extremities warm and cosy can ensure your joints don’t seize up and stiffen. Make sure you keep a hat, scarf and a pair of gloves on you at all times and opt for thermal layers.

Bask in the sun (however infrequent it is):

With shorter days, it can be increasingly difficult to build up your vitamin D levels. Low vitamin D levels can affect your bones, joints and can leave you feeling generally run down. To build up your vitamin D stores, go out for a short walk in the sun. On the more dark and gloomy days, a daily vitamin D supplement can work wonders.

Keep moving (but be careful):

Staying active, especially during the colder months is very important to ensure your joints stay flexible. Whether it’s going out for a brisk walk, or a more ambitious run, exercise will keep your bones strong and reduce joint inflammation. Just remember to wear shoes with grip, so you don’t run the risk of having a fall in icy conditions.

Make good food choices:

Eating healthy foods don’t only make you feel good, but they can help you maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can put unnecessary pressure on your joints, which in turn can make them feel more painful. Healthy soups full of vegetables can fill you up while warming you up from the inside out.

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