Many arthritis patients experience more joint pain when cold weather sets in. It’s not clear if this is due to the cold or a drop in barometric pressure. Whatever the cause, it’s important to find ways to cope. Here are a few recommendations:
1) Wear layers that can be removed or put back on as the temperature fluctuates. This is especially important around the joints, including the hands, knees and elbows.
2) When layering gloves, add a pair of thin glove liners instead of a second set of gloves. They’ll help keep you warm without adding so much bulk that you can’t bend your fingers.
3) Just for the winter, switch to indoor exercise. You’ll be more likely to stick to a routine if it’s less painful.
4) Warm water is very soothing for joint pain. Try taking warm baths or swimming in warm water. If you have a hot tub, this is the time to use it.
5) Drink plenty of water. Your sensitivity to pain increases if you’re even mildly dehydrated.
6) If you need additional help, make an appointment with your rheumatologist.