October 21, 2015

Cold temperatures and arthritis don’t mix. Learn how to help prevent pain this winter.



It’s not all in your head. As winter approaches, the drop in temperatures can trigger joint pain associated with your arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, research shows every 10-degree drop in temperature corresponds with an incremental increase in arthritis pain.

So what can you do? Aside from getting a vacation home in Florida, here are a few tips for keeping your arthritis pain in check during the upcoming Tennessee winter:


  1. Stay active: Biking the Natchez Trace may be out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you should just stick to the couch. Weight gain can add unnecessary stress to joints. And as a bonus for staying active, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that physical activity can reduce pain and improve function, mood and quality of life.
  1. Keep warm: As the temperatures drop at night, keep your aching joints warm with a bath. Hot baths are beneficial for relieving the stiffness and pain of arthritis.
  1. Keep safe: Arthritis may predispose you to falls and broken bones. Adding in the dangers of winter snow and ice, you’ll need to take extra care. Wear shoes with a good grip, and walk slowly with small and steady steps.
  1. Take those vitamins: The winter is draining away your daily dose of vitamin D. Talk to your doctor about choosing a calcium and vitamin D supplement that can help maintain healthy bones.
  1. Get a massage. Now’s the time to treat yourself! Take a mental and physical health day and schedule a massage, which can reduce tension in sore muscles and help reduce pain. Plus, who doesn’t love a good massage?


Joints aching more than usual? Learn more about Vanderbilt’s orthopaedic team, and schedule an appointment.