7 Tips To Treat Arthritis Symptoms This Winter


Over the years, I’ve found strategies to prevent rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups and reduce symptoms during the winter months.

For many people living with arthritis, it may seem like your flare-ups are more frequent or severe during a certain time of the year. For some, like me, colder weather and rain can trigger disease activity.

When I was 26 years old, I learned that cold weather was triggering my flare-ups, 6 years after I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Since I was a child, I have always loved watching and experiencing the rain. This often resulted in me enjoying storms a little too much and coming home soaking wet.

When I was 26, I learned the hard way that I couldn’t do it after a severe flare-up, even though I was able to warm up after the rain. I’ve learned that pushing the limits of your body in cold weather may not be the best idea.

If you have more frequent flare-ups or more severe arthritis symptoms during the colder times of the year, here are some tips that could make those months easier. Learning what to avoid and incorporate into my daily routine has given me a little more control over my rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

While some strategies brought immediate relief, others had longer-term effects on me. Now that I know how to deal with my RA in the colder months, I experience fewer relapses, even in winter.

If the common cold is triggering your symptoms, this is the top tip. Instead of finding ways to keep yourself warm when you’re already cold, look for ways to prevent a cold in the first place.

I dress as warmly as possible by layering my clothes. My main focus is on keeping the areas of my body in pain – my hands, knees, and legs – warm.

Remember to wear gloves and a hat every time you venture out in the cold. On days when it’s particularly cold, rainy, or both, I try to shorten the cold overall.

Warm water is a quick (and inexpensive) way to relieve pain in the body caused by low temperatures. I recommend investing in a hot water bottle. You can fill it with hot water and place it on your joints and other areas where you feel pain.

If you live near a heated swimming pool or hot tub, you can incorporate exercise and warm water. The combination of gentle exercise and warmth can help relieve stiffness and pain in your joints.

To make hydrotherapy even more beneficial, you can ask a doctor or occupational therapist about specific movements that can help you swim more painlessly. Also, make sure to dry off completely after swimming and put on warm clothes quickly to avoid chilling.

If a heated swimming pool is not available, you can find relief in warm baths. I often add Epsom salts.

Corresponding 2018 research, Daily exercise can help to reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of systemic manifestations, such as cardiovascular diseases.

While limiting your outdoor activities in cold weather, you can try indoor exercises that are also easy on your joints. Walking is an effective pain management exercise. You can find guided hiking videos on YouTube to get you moving. You can either walk on the spot or around your house.

I’ve also tried gentle indoor exercises like guided yoga. This can be great when you feel like socializing. But if not, YouTube is a great resource for free tutorials on many forms of training.

If you feel stiff while exercising, light stretching before, during, or after exercise can help. Make sure your body is warmed up and cooled down to avoid injury and increased pain.

Remember that every body is different and you may need a little patience to figure out what you enjoy most and which movement feels best for your body.

Eating a healthy diet is important to keep your body energized all year round. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet during the times of the year when you are more prone to flare-ups.

I like to eat more fruits and vegetables than the rest of the year. You can try frozen fruits and vegetables when fresh produce is harder to come by in the cold months you live in.

Vitamin B12, found in beef, eggs, yogurt, and many types of fish, has been shown to be effective Help lower grades the amino acid homocysteine. High blood homocysteine ​​levels have been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular complications.

Because people with RA often have higher homocysteine ​​levels As the general population, vitamins that help regulate homocysteine ​​levels can be particularly beneficial.

Research from 2003 in 37 patients suggests that high levels of inflammation in people with RA may be associated with lower vitamin B6 levels and that vitamin B6 deficiency may contribute to the severity of symptoms.

Vitamin B6 can also help Reduce inflammation in people with RA. Carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and bananas are just a few of the many foods high in vitamin B6. If you are considering taking any vitamins or supplements, be sure to consult a doctor as needs vary from body to body.

During times of the year when my risk of a flare-up is higher, I take special care to avoid foods that can worsen inflammation, such as alcohol and refined sugars.

Drinking enough water is important to support the body’s functions. In addition to other benefits, staying hydrated can help regulate your body temperature, aid digestion, and strengthen your immune system.

However, it is common not to drink as much water when it isn’t hot outside and you don’t think you’re sweating that much. If you find it difficult to remember to drink plain water, you can add ginger or fresh fruit to make it more interesting. Ginger is also one anti-inflammatory food.

In addition, the additional ways into the bathroom simply bring a little more movement into the day thanks to more water absorption.

On the days when the pain is uncontrollable, consider trying alternative remedies. You can see a massage therapist or try acupuncture which some believe can relieve pain.

Find out about these options before booking your appointment and consult a doctor if you are unsure whether treatment will help.

Finally, during the winter months, you should listen to and respond to your body’s needs.

In the northern hemisphere, the holiday season falls in winter. Make sure that you try as hard as possible to honor your body as you partake in the celebrations around you. Prioritize limiting the stress around you, even if it means saying “no” to some invitations or activities.

Also, remember to not feel guilty about taking breaks if necessary. It is important to focus on your health to enjoy year-end events without risking a flare-up.


Fiske Nyirongo is a freelance writer from Lusaka, Zambia. She is currently studying distance communication at Mulungushi University in Kabwe, Zambia. While she prefers a quiet corner of a cafe with a good book for most outdoor activities, she works on getting to know better about outdoor trips. When not writing from her desk, she loves visiting new restaurants, perfecting her swimming skills, and exploring the shopping malls and streets of Lusaka.


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