With the clock change on October 25, and the advent of colder weather, can come weeks or months of increased aches, pains, stiffness and discomfort.
But there are ways to combat this, by heeding the advice of those who are qualified to help.
Physiotherapist Ian Andrews said: “When your grandmother told you her knees could feel rain coming, she wasn’t joking.
“For many years, cold, rainy and generally miserable weather has been linked to pain in the joints and exacerbations in conditions like arthritis.
“While having these weather prediction abilities may be a neat party trick, the discomfort and pain is real, so we’ve put together our top tips to help people combat their cold weather woes.”
His advice is as follows;
Wrap up warm with plenty of layers!
This sounds simple, but wearing a variety of layers may be the key to prevent cold weather affecting your joints.
Staying mobile will ensure your joints have a healthy blood flow to prevent stiffness and swelling from congregating around those weary joints.
Improve muscular strength!
Improving the strength of muscles around your joints will provide structural support, which can in turn reduce deterioration.Joint surfaces act in a similar way to a sponge, therefore loading a joint with a heavier than usual weight facilitates the removal of inflammatory chemicals.
Isolate the trigger!
Try and identify activities in your daily life that may aggravate symptoms of joint pain and arthritis, most specifically outdoors.This may be as simple as rescheduling your outdoor tasks for a day with better weather, although this could be easier said than done.
Plan your day! ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!’
Ensure you have proactively assessed the weather for the following day ahead and plan tasks and clothing to avoid being caught out in the cold!
Utilise a flask!
Having a warm drink to hand during the cold months may decrease the stress on the thermoregulatory centre, potentially decreasing pain and increasing your core body temperature.
Keep your home warm while you are within it!
The NHS advises that temperatures are kept at a minimum of 18C during the winter.
Take Vitamin D supplements.
In the winter months there is a lack of vitamin D, the formation of which is activated by sunlight within our bodies.A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone pain, muscle aches, muscle cramps, let alone mood changes! Vitamin D is also important to help to keep our calcium levels up.
Seek appropriate treatment!
As technology continues to rapidly improve within healthcare, it may be relevant to seek external therapies such as shockwave therapy, k-laser, acupuncture and hyaluronic acid injections to manage your painful symptoms.
Get to the root of your problems!
MBST continues to successfully stimulate the healing process and regenerate the cells affected in osteoarthritis, said Ian.
He added: “Numerous cross sections of joint surface cartilage following MBST continue to display improvements in the strength and durability of the tissue, ultimately leading to reduced pain and improved joint mobility.”
Physiotherapist Ian Andrews is based in the MBST clinic, Oakwood Physiotherapy and MBST at S20 Physique Sheffield.