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Does Cold Weather Affect Arthritis?

Finding the right arthritis treatment plan is important any time of year, but especially during cold winter months when pain is even worse. The experienced rheumatologists at Arthritis and Osteoporosis Treatment Center are here to offer the latest advanced treatments and tips to prevent your pain and ease your symptoms this winter. 

Arthritis and Cold Weather 

Does cold weather truly make arthritis worse? Yes, it isn’t just your imagination. Arthritis pain feels worse in colder weather due to changes in barometric pressure that negatively impact joints. Barometric atmosphere pressure can be described as the weight that the atmosphere puts on objects. 

As this pressure fluctuates during winter months, our tissues begin to expand and contract. As our tissues expand, increased pressure is put onto our nerves. This can lead to heightened pain signals that result in joint pain.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Many patients brush off arthritis symptoms during the winter months or mistake them for something else. Symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis include pain and stiffness, joint damage, swelling and fatigue. If you experience these signs, know that you don’t have to suffer. There are many effective treatments for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of this disease.

Tips to Manage Winter Arthritis Pain

You don’t have to struggle with arthritis pain any time of year. Follow these tips to prevent inflammation and joint pain both during the winter season and year-round. 

Stay warm with extra layers. 

A great way to minimize joint pain during winter months is to avoid the cold and layer up. Use thick gloves to add extra protection to your hands when spending time outdoors. Additional layers of clothing around your hips, knees and elbows can also protect your joints from the cold. 

Keep a healthy diet. 

Certain foods may put you at a higher risk of joint pain during the winter season. Avoid sugary, processed, fatty and fried foods. Instead, try to incorporate foods like fish, leafy greens and nuts to help soothe your joint pain and reduce inflammation. 

Get your vitamin D.

Along with a healthy diet, certain supplements can help reduce arthritis pain. One of these is vitamin D. During winter months we are exposed to less natural sunlight, which can lead to low vitamin D levels. Patients with arthritis tend to have more severe pain when vitamin D levels drop. Add vitamin D to your diet through foods like salmon, sardines or fortified cereal, or by taking a supplement.

Avoid stress.

Stress is never good for our bodies, especially when dealing with joint pain. Refrain from overworking your body while shopping, cooking or engaging in other strenuous winter activities.

Keep your stress levels down by taking walks, attending yoga classes, spending time with family or children, or even listening or dancing to music. Find ways to slow down to prevent overexertion. 

Stay active.

Physical activity is one of the best ways to manage your arthritis and joint pain. Getting sufficient exercise can not only boost your energy, but it can also increase strength and flexibility and minimize painful symptoms

The Arthritis Foundation encourages all patients who struggle with the condition to engage in approximately 150 minutes per week of low-intensity aerobic activities. This could include brisk walking, water aerobics, cycling and more. Make it your new year’s resolution to get active.

Treatments to Prevent Arthritis Pain All Year Round

There are many treatments for arthritis that have proven to be effective no matter the time of year. For many patients treating rheumatoid arthritis, we recommend IV infusion therapy to reduce inflammation and other painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis with the active drug Rituximab.

DMARDs are the most commonly prescribed medication by our arthritis treatment center. The disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs get to the root of the problem and stop the progression of arthritis. DMARDs are highly effective in relieving joint pain and inflammation. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and consistent exercise regimen is also crucial in managing arthritis symptoms year-round. The most important step in developing a personalized treatment plan is to find the right doctor who will ensure you have the correct diagnosis. 

Find an Arthritis Doctor in Jacksonville, FL

With over 100 forms of arthritis to treat, it’s crucial to have personalized care. At Arthritis and Osteoporosis Treatment Center, we’re committed to providing patients with a plan of care and treatment that is right for you. Visit our specialists today to receive the arthritis support that you deserve.