By Sharon Lively
A cold snowy day, a good book by a crackling fire; sounds like a welcome way to spend the day to most, does it not? For those with arthritis, a cold weather day can be painful and not so welcome. Cold weather does not actually cause arthritis, but the drop in temperature and change in pressure may make an already bad condition feel worse. Not all who suffer with arthritis, are affected the same.
For those who suffer joint pain during cold weather, are there ways to survive cold weather conditions with less pain?
Those who experience joint stiffness would most likely agree that they are stiffer in the mornings when they arise and they require more time to get loosened up and ‘get going’. Why does cold weather cause some to literally feel the weather changes in a not-so-pleasant manner?
As the weather’s pressure changes, it can affect the pressure in the body’s joints. When air pressure is low, the tissues of the joint expand just like a balloon would and this puts pressure on the surrounding joint.
To help ease cold weather joint pain, it is important to stay warm.
- layer your clothing
- preheat your car
- keep your living area warm
- use an electric blanket to sleep under
- drink warm fluids
- paraffin treatments
- use self heating oils such as Prosagge® , or essential oils that invigorate the area
- try not to gain extra winter weight as this puts more stress on the afflicted joint(s)
- exercise & stretch regularly, as it brings more blood to the area, and helps to lubricate the joints
Try the simple technique below to enhance circulation for arms and shoulders using moderate pressure:
- Use a deep gliding stroke called effleurage from shoulder to wrist returning to shoulder
- Effleurage palm side of the hand from wrist to finger tips returning to wrist
- Use a ring motion call petrissage starting at the shoulder and proceed to the wrist returning to the shoulder
- Vigorously rub with a Friction stroke across the shoulder, proceed down the top of the arm and hand, returning to the shoulder via the underside of the arm
- Using the same route as the friction, skin roll
- Finish with effleurage from shoulder to wrist and ending at the shoulder