Winter is here, and while it brings its positives, such as Christmas, time off work and festive feats, it can also pose a problem to those that suffer with joint pain. While you might want to go out on after dinner walks and embrace the crisp winter air, snuggling up with a blanket is sometimes far more tempting, particularly if you’re in pain and aching.
So, what is it about winter that aggravates joint and muscle pain?
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is made when we’re out in sunlight, so the winter is a prime time to become deficient in it. Whether we’re chained to our desk for the lighter hours of the day, or the rain is putting us off going for a walk, it’s a common situation to be in. Unfortunately, a vitamin D deficiency can cause joint and muscle aches, alongside a feeling of sluggishness.
Although it might seem like a lot of effort, getting out and about for 15-20 minutes a day can help boost your vitamin D and may be all you need for a boost. If you’re really suffering, it may be worth a trip to the doctor to see whether you’re deficient in vitamin D, as it can be easily supplemented.
- Winter posture
Most of us are unaware that the cold weather can have an impact on how we carry ourselves. Instead of standing tall and proud we may be hunched over against the cold, with our heads bent in and taking small steps. This can have a huge impact on our joints and muscles without us even realising it.
To avoid aches and pains from poor winter posture, make sure you wrap up as warm as possible and try to be aware of how you’re carrying yourself.
- We notice things more
During the winter months, we may spend more time indoors snuggling down with a blanket than being out and about. This can mean that we have more time to focus on the nuances of our bodies and its aches and pains, rather than being distracted by summer activities like barbecues and holidays.
While it’s good to be in tune with your body, try and use distraction techniques to take your mind off the pain, or have a nice hot bath to release some tension.
- You’re eating differently
Colder nights bring more hearty meals, and while they can be extremely nutritious, we often reduce our intake of fresh fruit and veggies. In turn, this can make us deficient in certain nutrients which affects our joints and muscles.
Try and make your winter food as wholesome as possible, focusing on foods like curry, bright vegetables and a variety of fruit. Doing this will give your body the power it needs to replenish muscles and help your joints.
- Sometimes it just gets worse
Whether you’re suffering from stress, have pulled a muscle or have a case of ‘text neck’, sometimes there’s no clear explanation as to why joint or muscle pain gets worse. The good news is that joint and muscle pain can be reduced by osteopathy.
Osteopathic treatment looks to massage the muscles to promote blood flow, relieve tension and encourage better function and posture – all things that help to alleviate pain and distress.
At Solihull Osteopathic Practice, we see a definite spike in visits over the winter months and have helped hundreds of people relieve their debilitating symptoms. If you’re looking for a helping hand this winter, please contact our friendly team today on: 0121 705 4499.