Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold
As temperatures in the Northeast continue to dip to bone-chilling levels, you can feel it in your arthritis-ridden knees. And hips. And shoulders. And hands. And feet. Or can you? Actually, over the years, the science has been inconclusive. Some studies suggest there’s a correlation between arthritis and cold weather; others haven’t found any.
Either way, those who suffer from arthritis are most interested in relief from their pain—whether the cold weather triggers it or not. At Kayal Orthopaedic Center, we have long-term solutions to arthritic-riddled joints—from orthobiologics to hip, shoulder, ankle and knee replacement surgery in Bergen County, NJ.
In the spirit of offering you some short-term relief from your pain during this frigid season, we offer the following suggestions:
- Bundle up. When the mercury drops, don’t underestimate the value of a warm pair of gloves and extra protection for your knees and legs, especially if you’re spending large chunks of time outdoors.
- Embrace the layered look. Don’t hesitate to wear more than one pair of gloves or dress in layers. You can always peel off extra clothing if the weather warms up.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Your pain can increase even if you are slightly dehydrated. Drink plenty of water to help keep your pain level as low as possible.
- Drop a pound (or two). Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent arthritis pain.
- Get moving—indoors! It’s important to stay active when you suffer from joint pain. Regular activity can reduce painful flare-ups. To avoid winter’s chill, choose indoor exercise such as an exercise bike, treadmill, elliptical or other home or gym equipment, an indoor walking/running track, a workout tape, an exercise class or indoor swimming pool. You can also join an indoor sports league or organize pickup games.
- Boost your vitamin D. According to some experts, a vitamin D deficiency can increase your sensitivity to arthritic pain. It also places you at greater risk for osteoporosis. Although sunlight helps increase vitamin D levels, most of us are exposed to less sunlight in the winter. Consider a vitamin D supplement or foods that are rich in D, including salmon, tuna, cheese and other dairy products, beef liver, soy milk, cereal and orange juice.
- Take fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation. For rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, the Arthritis Foundation recommends up to 2.6 grams of fish oil twice a day. Learn more here.
- Consider OTC pain medications. Some people find relief with over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Aleve, Advil or Motrin). You should consult your specialist at Kayal Orthopaedic Center to make sure this is safe for you.
- Soak in the tub or get a massage. Warm water or an hour-long massage can work wonders on aching muscles and joints.
- Be careful! The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a position to cause further damage to your bones, muscles and joints. To avoid slipping and falling on ice and snow, choose snow boots or flat, supportive shoes when you go outside. Also, choose pathways that are clean and ice-free whenever possible.
At Kayal Orthopaedic Center, we care about you and want to help you manage your pain in whatever way we can. To learn more about our wide range of orthopaedic services, including custom knee replacement, in Paramus, NJ, and beyond, call us at 844.777.0910 or contact us on the web.