12 Arthritis Pain Relief Remedies for Cold Winters

Anju Mobin - Writer for Trim Down Club
By Anju Mobin
Nevena Radulović - Editor for Trim Down Club
Edited by Nevena Radulović

Updated December 12, 2022.

Woman in workout clothes on a snowy road holding her knee in pain

Arthritis is a degenerative condition that causes pain, inflammation, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. Unfortunately, this condition is pretty common—CDC reports that about 50% of people above the age of 65 suffer from arthritis.

As winter approaches, arthritis symptoms tend to aggravate since joints become stiffer and their range of motion decreases further. Resting these joints only worsens the issue and the vicious cycle continues.

While arthritis medications do offer some symptom relief, they have their share of side effects. So, as your alternative this winter, make sure to try out these 12 arthritis natural remedies for pain relief and improve your quality of life.

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1. Stay Warm

In the cold winter months, seniors often complain of stiff joints and trouble with movement. Although this climate change isn't the cause of arthritis, the chilly weather aggravates arthritis symptoms and increases pain. So, avoiding the cold and staying warm is the simple solution.

You can minimize arthritis pain in winter periods by wearing suitable winter clothing. Keep your fingers toasty in a thick pair of gloves and remember to wear warm socks at all times.

2. Dress in Layers

Wearing multiple layers of clothing will ensure you remain warm even in the coldest winters. For example, wear thermal inners, then put on your dress, and layer more with sweaters, coats, and shawls. You can even wear multiple layers of gloves and socks if you feel the need.

Even in winter, the temperature can shift dramatically, with some parts of the day being warmer than the rest. If you feel hot, you can peel off your clothing layers one by one.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Did you know that you add 4 pounds of pressure on your knees for every pound of body weight gained? So, losing even just 5 pounds can take about 20 pounds of weight off your knee joints and bring benefits for arthritis.

Losing weight and attaining a healthy BMI can help ease the load on your joints, reduce inflammation, and significantly improve joint pain. Nevertheless, remember that joint pain is a symptom of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, which can also lead to spinal muscle spasms, so make sure to get proper medical advice on your specific condition.

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4. Do Regular Exercise

Researchers have observed that weight loss resulting from diet and exercise significantly improves knee arthritis symptoms. Regular exercise reduces joint discomfort, swelling, and stiffness. Exercise also boosts cognitive health, especially among elderly people.

You can exercise indoors if it's too cold outside. Come up with a practical indoor exercise plan. If you stop using your joints, then they will eventually stop working, It’s simple as that. So keep them moving. There are no excuses for not exercising.

5. Soothe Pain With Warm Water

Swimming is a low-impact exercise ideal for those with joint-related issues, and even more so if you swim in warm water. However, if swimming in heated pools isn't possible for you, make sure to at least get a warm bath after your indoor workout. Warm water will offer significant pain relief for your stiff and aching joints.

6. Get a Massage

Investing in an occasional massage is worthwhile, considering the amount of money spent on doctors and medications. Just make sure to find a massage therapist who knows what they're doing. If you can afford it, make sure to get an hour-long massage at least once a week, with specific emphasis on your troublesome joints.

7 . Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Nutrition plays a vital role in reducing inflammation and managing joint discomfort. For example, foods high in sugar increase inflammation and pain. So, your diet should be rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as berries, cherries, broccoli, spinach, kale, cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms, and dark chocolate.

8. Add Fish Oil to Your Diet

When combined with anti-inflammatory foods, foods rich in omega-3 can decrease swelling and inflammation of joints. Fatty fish, nuts, and seeds such as flax seeds and chia are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. According to the Arthritis Foundation, you can take capsules with 2.6 grams of fish oil, twice a day.

9. Increase Your Vitamin D Intake

As the cold keeps most seniors indoors due to arthritis pain in winter months, the lack of sun exposure can increase the risk of vitamin D deficiency. This not only aggravates existing joint issues but also leads to osteoporosis. Supplementing with vitamin D has a notable impact on reducing inflammation and managing joint pain. Fatty fish, cod liver oil, egg yolks, and beef liver are excellent sources of vitamin D.

10. Get More Vitamin C

Collagen is important for building cartilage in joints, and with arthritis, this cartilage gets damaged. Vitamin C-rich foods can help boost collagen production and cartilage regeneration. So, add plenty of citrus fruits, cherries, strawberries, papayas, bell peppers, cauliflower, and kale to your diet to boost your vitamin C intake and promote cartilage regeneration.

11. Drink More Water

If you're dehydrated, your sensitivity to pain may increase. Staying hydrated keeps you healthier and more active. However, unlike hot summers, you may not feel so thirsty in winter. Nevertheless, the dry air saps the moisture your body needs, so remember to have plenty of warm water, bone broth, and antioxidant-rich teas.

12. Get the Green Tea Benefits

Green tea is a great addition to your diet, as its benefits are numerous. It's rich in antioxidants and reduces oxidative damage in the body. What's more, green tea catechins play a protective role and slow down cartilage degeneration, while EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) in green tea is proven to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Relieve Arthritis Symptoms With Natural Remedies

As arthritis makes it difficult to live an active lifestyle, even daily activities become difficult to do. This is especially true during winter, as arthritis pain in winter months becomes more intense.

Nevertheless, you can try the above-mentioned remedies to relieve pain, strengthen joints, and encourage cartilage regeneration. Even in winter, you can enjoy a happier and healthier life by choosing the right methods and foods.

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