Cold Weather and Arthritis

                                                                                                                        Written by Tri-Rehab staff.

Weather affects different people differently. Many people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis will be stiffer in the morning and it can take them longer to get up and loosen up and loosen their joints and get going. There’s very little research showing that cold weather directly causes arthritis or alters its course. So why does the cold seem to make arthritis feel worse? As the weather changes, so can the pressure in your joints.

Do what you can to stay warm!

  • Bundle up from head to toe in several layers.
  • Preheat the car before getting into it.
  • Make sure your home or apartment is kept warm.
  • Sleep under an electric blanket.
  • Warm clothing in the dryer before dressing.
  • Drinking warm or hot drinks.
  • Try wearing Spandex gloves at night to try to keep fluid out of the joints.

 

It is also very important to keep moving!

  • Try exercising the affected joints before going out in the cold weather.
  • Maintain a regular exercise program year around. Exercise will not only loosen stiff joints but help prevent winter weight gain that places more stress on painful joints.

While summer heat and humidity can make outdoor exercise seem less appealing, the good news is that your body will acclimate fairly quickly to the weather, and you will feel more efficient as the summer goes on.  Running with a partner or small group can also help keep you motivated and accountable.  Whatever you do to keep active this summer, remember to have fun and be safe!

Information compiled in part from WebMd

 

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