Winter tips for arthritis
This is the time of the year that arthritis sufferers dread the damp, cold conditions. It is inevitable that we will either feel more pain than usual or less mobile than normal. So, here are some winter tips for arthritis that should help keep it at bay!
Heat – warm up!
The first thing to remember in our winter tips for arthritis is that Arthritic bodies like heat! (unless you have hot swollen joints and need an ice pack instead… yuk!). Try taking regular hot baths, showers or even try the sauna at your local pool/gym. Many of our patients love putting their arthritic hands in hot soapy water and moving them around – also known as – doing the washing up! This is one of the best chores we can do if we struggle with arthritis in our fingers, hands and wrists. Make sure to wrap up warm too! Ask for thermal underwear for Christmas, in particular, the black Thermoskin arthritis finger-less gloves – a lot of our patients rate them. Not only do they keep your fingers super toasty, but they give them extra support.
Keep moving – use it or lose it!
In summer, it’s easy to keep moving and enjoying the things we love. However, it’s not always that easy come winter. It gets harder to get out: wind, rain and freezing temperatures mostly to blame! Movement however, massively improves our joint pain. If we can consistently get our joints moving and muscles working, we are less likely to endure the same pain levels as opposed to if we don’t.
Simple exercises can make a big difference – moving our joints through their full range can loosen them up and reduce pain.
Some patients swear that a brisk walk for 20 minutes is the best thing for their arthritic knees, but if they were to walk for an hour or so, it flares them up and makes them worse. So, short regular walks can be extremely beneficial.
If you have more energy to burn and don’t want to battle the elements, try joining a gym! Membership fees are a small price to pay if it helps us to avoid long term suffering. Some great activities that are suitable for people with arthritis include: supported exercise machines – like the ladies only toning tables at The St Peters Centre in Burnley (Feelgood Factory), aqua aerobics, cross trainer, exercise bike or gentle exercise classes like T’ai Chi, Yoga and Pilates. If that doesn’t float your boat how about swimming or even ballroom dancing – try a new hobby and keep your body moving!
Physiotherapy – treat yourself!
Physiotherapy works. Fact! There are lots of ways your physio can help. We specialise in joint mobilisation therapy by practising a number of methods such as, massage, acupuncture and muscle manipulation which can all help to free up those stiff joints and reduce arthritic pain.
If you are unsure about your condition, you can use our FREE Ask A Physio service to speak to our experts first. They are more than happy to help answer any questions you have.