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Cold Weather and Pain

How does cold weather impact chronic pain? Lower temperatures can contribute to reduced blood flow and inflammation in the wintertime. That doesn’t mean you should have to live in pain. Fight back against the cold with these tips to combat chronic pain.

Warm Up
What do you do when you’re cold? Put on a sweater! In addition to dressing in layers, heating pads for your hands and feet can help reduce joint inflammation, which may temporarily relieve body pain. During the day, remember to wear thick socks and clothing that adequately covers joints. When you get home, especially if you have been outdoors for a prolonged period of time, change your socks so that you have new warmth to replace the cold. At night, a hot bath can relax the body and get you ready for a good night’s sleep.

Stretching
Just like exercise, stretching in the wintertime is just as important as strength training. It increases your blood flow to the joints which makes getting around that much easier. One thing to remember is to always warm-up before stretching to avoid pulling a muscle or injury. In short: you need to stretch for better exercise, but you need to warm up before stretching. Dynamic stretching is a great way to accomplish this, or you can also take a quick walk around the house to wake the body up. Always aim for light, comfortable stretches. Pushing yourself can lead to injury.

Keep Moving
Nothing’s better on a cold day than bundling up on the couch with a hot drink and a book. Too much bundling up, however, could lead to increased chronic pain. An object in motion stays in motion. In order to fight chronic pain, find moments for physical activity. That doesn’t mean you have to go for a jog every morning. Evening walks through the snow, stretching during work, or an i’move FIT class can keep you going through winter and beyond. Whatever activity you choose, find something that gets you up and moving for a few minutes every day.

Treatment
Taking precautions in the winter is a great first step to treat pain, but they often only address the symptoms of a larger problem. A certified physical therapist can properly assess your body’s biomechanics to create a plan to eliminate chronic pain. A consultation with i’move works through your medical history, symptoms, and goals to personalize a treatment plan for you. Contact us to eliminate chronic pain for good.

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