Chronic Pain and Cold Weather
By Donna Stark
My friends and I have very different opinions regarding winter weather. Although we live in the south right now, some of us in the group still love and miss the change of seasons that we had when we used to live in colder regions. We fondly speak of our winter attire ... the boots, scarves, and jackets ... while the others in the group curse the day when they can't wear their flip-flops anymore. But regardless of everyone's personal opinion on those cold, gray, cloudy days, we can agree that the brisk weather treats us all the same. As the temperatures drop, every single one of us has to take extra precautions to keep warm and to stay safe.
Chronic Pain Conditions and Cold Weather
The brisk temps can certainly affect everyone that steps outside, but for those with a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia, the already afflicted body can suffer even more. Cold weather can lead to extreme fatigue, muscle spasms, joint pain, increased nerve pain, and immobility in those that suffer from certain health issues, so it is critical that they are aware of its potential impact. If you or someone you love suffers from such issues, take a look at these tips that can help maintain your fitness level and also reduce the pain of the winter season!
- Stay active - Low-impact exercises for those dealing with chronic pain are the way to go in the winter months. Consider yoga, walking, swimming, or low-intensity workouts at the gym to keep your body limber and in motion. Inactivity can often make pain worse, so keep moving as much as you can.
- Get your vitamins - A diet packed with vitamins and minerals is essential for those fighting chronic pain. One in particular, Vitamin D, is frequently deficient among many people during the winter due to reduced exposure to sunlight, so be sure that your body is getting the vitamins it needs. Doing so may increase your energy, help your body function properly, and aid in relieving muscle pain and stiffness.
- Keep warm - Simple actions can do a lot for keeping the body warm, which may help reduce the pain that is caused by colder temperatures. So dress appropriately, and dress in layers. Do the same for your bed linens too! And if the weather is very unwelcoming, add in some warming devices as well, such as hand and feet warmers, heating pads, and electric blankets.
Avoiding the Pain That Comes with Cold Weather
Although winter weather may bring an increased rate of chronic pain flare-ups, there are some ways to fight back. By understanding the impact that colder temps have on your health issues, you can stay a step ahead and prepare for the worst. By incorporating daily exercise, a healthy diet, and proper attire into your days, you can reduce some of that pain and warm up your winter at the same time!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.