Maintaining Flexible Joints this Winter
Author: Andrew Mitchell
Frosty windows, freezing temperatures, and ice roads can only mean one thing: we are in winters grip. For some, winter stirs up happy visions of skiing, cosy fireplaces, and Christmas pudding; for others, miserable cold and creaky joints.
The winter season can be particularly hard on already sensitive joints, often making them stiff and painful. Typically, men and women suffer from joint stiffness after they reach the age of 50, often losing flexible mobility and range in their joint functioning, making daily actions such as walking or picking up objects rather painful. To prepare yourself for winters cold, some of the leading osteopaths share a few of their tips on how to maintain flexible joints in the upcoming months:
- Avoid lifting heavy objects as much as possible
- Take care when carrying heavy loads on your back or shoulders \" you do not want to put too much pressure on your knee joints.
- Do not wear heels that exceed 4cm in length \" this way you minimize the risk of causing further injury to your ankles, knees, and back.
- Carrying lighter handbags can make the difference you are looking for to your back and well as your knees
TIPS FOR BOTH GENDERS
- Be sure to cover up when going outside. Wearing high socks or stockings over the knees, and thick gloves and jumpers keeps your joints warm and mobile.
- After spending time in the cold, take a bath or shower and loosen up your joints in warm water.
- Follow a regular exercise program that test the ranger and mobility of your joints, but do not exceed your limit. Always stop when it becomes too painful.
- Get the right nutrition and regulate your weight \" this not only keeps the joints healthy, but the lighter you are, the less pressure is exerted over your joints.
- It is important to sleep on a firm mattress, not just for people with back or neck problems, but for everyone. While there is no perfect mattress that works for everyone, choosing a mattress that suits you is not only essential to getting enough rest at night, but is crucial for preventing stiff joints in the mornings.
- If you are suffering from arthritis (or symptoms of arthritis), it is advisable to wear an assistive device (such as knees, wrist, or ankle straps) around the joint that need the most support.
HOW CAN AN OSTEOPATH HELP?
Consulting an osteopath can be useful in many respects, especially because they can help diagnose what problems you have (joint pains can often be early symptoms of either Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis, so it is important to be cognisant of these problems before they get worse), and devise a treatment plan that suits your needs. Through a combination of exercises, massages, and therapeutic techniques, osteopaths can help minimize your symptoms and use their expertise about the muscular-skeletal system to your advantage.
A lot of the tips above are not just specific to the winter season, but with sub-zero temperatures, it is important to take extra caution to protect your sensitive joints. But as long as you keep them warm and mobile, there is no reason why your joints should cause you problems this winter.
Andrew Mitchell, clinical publisher at the Osteopath Network, writes papers about musculo-skeletal conditions, drug-free treatment, pain management and how to find a Ilford osteopath. He is interested in the treatment of back pain, neck pain and injury and pain management.