Hey, they say that Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year! But regardless, it will still remain winter for a little longer yet here in State College and Centre County. There are certain musculoskeletal injuries that happen often in the winter months. Here are some tips from Rothrock Chiropractic and Rehabilitation to help reduce these ailments.
- Stay Warm and Layered. Cold weather can contribute to joint pain and stiffness by causing muscles and joints to contract, or shorten. It’s essential to keep yourself warm to fend this off. Dress in layers to trap body heat and consider using heated blankets or dry clothing to maintain a comfortable temperature. Additionally, wearing gloves, scarves, and thermal socks can help protect extremities from the cold, reducing the impact on joints.
- Maintain Hydration. Cold weather can lead to dehydration as people often forget to drink enough water when it’s not hot. Proper hydration is crucial for joint health, as it helps to keep the synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, at an optimal level. Drinking water regularly can also aid in flushing out toxins that may contribute to joint discomfort.
- Engage in Gentle Exercise. Regular, gentle exercise is key to maintaining joint health, especially in cold weather. If you’ve already been prescribed exercises from our office, these are especially important to complete in the winter. Low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or indoor exercises can help improve joint flexibility and reduce stiffness. Avoiding prolonged periods of inactivity is important, as it prevents joints from becoming stiff and achy.
- Consider Chiropractic Adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments can be beneficial for alleviating winter-related joint pain and stiffness. Cold weather often exacerbates existing joint issues, such as degenerative joint changes, muscle strains, or spinal disc injuries. Chiropractic care can help restore joint mobility, reduce inflammation, decrease mechanical pressure on the injuries, and promote overall musculoskeletal health. Dr. Emery Pitcel can assess your individual needs and provide adjustments to target specific joint concerns, offering relief from winter-induced discomfort or injury.
- Use Heat Therapy. Applying heat to affected joints can provide relief from cold-induced pain and stiffness. Heat helps to increase blood flow and relax muscles. Consider using heating pads, warm towels, or hot baths to target areas of joint discomfort. Be cautious not to use excessive heat, and generally 10-15 minutes on heat followed by 45-50 minutes off heat therapy is the right ratio to avoid exasperating any irritated tissues..
By staying warm, maintaining hydration, engaging in gentle exercise, considering chiropractic adjustments, and using heat therapy, individuals can effectively manage and alleviate joint pain and stiffness exacerbated by cold weather. It’s crucial to consult with healthcare professionals, such as Dr. Emery Pitcel, to create a personalized approach to address specific joint concerns and promote overall well-being during the winter months.
Remember: you can get this winter!