It’s that time of year. The time of year when hardy Northeasterners like to play tougher than Jason Statham when it comes to the cold.
You know who I’m talking about. Those people who wear board shorts to grab a Saturday morning coffee. Sometimes they wear those board shorts with flip flops, too.
“It’s not that cold!”, they say, as you sneer inwardly at their weather dysphoria. “Yes. It. Is.”, hisses your inside voice.
If the cold weather makes you hurt all over, you’re certainly not alone. Truth be told, cold weather is the enemy of the human body. You can’t feel your face and the inside of your nose feels downright crunchy. Most of us don’t like it, so Board Shorts and Company and take a walk (in their flip flops).
Is the frosty weather causing joint pain? Give it the deep freeze. Stop that pain in its tracks by understanding why it happens and how to deal with it. Read on!
Why the Ouch?
There are some key facts you may not know about why your joints hurt when the mercury drops.
For one, the barometric pressure drops, too. This may cause tissue in your joints to expand and that can hurt. But it’s not the only reason you hurt in the cold weather.
If you’ve had a joint injury, the cold can increase the joint’s sensitivity because of existing scar tissue and inflammation. In addition, the fluid in your joints (called synovial fluid) can thicken with the cold, causing them to feel stiff. This effect may also cause your joints to click or making a crunching sound.
Cabin life, during which you mostly sit around and wait for winter to go away, can contribute to these factors, making your joints even stiffer because of prolonged inactivity. Staying active by exercising whenever you can will help you with the humidity also, which can wreak havoc in your joints’ cartilage.
What You Can Do
Besides keeping your joints mobilized by moving them as much as possible (stretching, body weight exercises, visiting your local CrossFit center, swimming at the rec center pool), following are some helpful tips to give your joint pain the deep freeze:
Heat – A hot compress or heating pad can be a big help at this time of year.
Ice – While this may sound counterintuitive, applying ice can reduce inflammation. You may want to use contrast therapy, which alternates heat with ice.
Topical analgesics – Formulations like Icy Hot deliver a relaxing heat that’s heightened by massaging it into the joint.
And finally – come see me (your friendly neighborhood chiropractor)! A regular visit to the chiropractor helps keep your spine in alignment, your nervous system operating correctly and joint pain at bay.
Back & Body Medical New York
Our award-winning clinic in Manhattan is your source for multi-disciplinarian pain relief, drawing on acupuncture, sports medicine, physical therapy and (of course) chiropractic.
Winter shouldn’t hurt. Put a deep freeze on the pain with the award-winning team at Back & Body Medical.