Is the colder weather making your winter aches and pains worse? Osteopath and creator of Holistic Impact Kemmy Gichaba, reveals 7 ways to manage pain naturally
The winter weather, particularly the cold can cause slow, tender, and achy joints, which make it hard to get moving and can cause general discomfort and pain.
There are several reasons why this happens, with the most common being that the cold naturally makes your muscles feel more tense and tight.
This is largely because when our bodies get cold, it restricts how much blood it sends around to all of our extremities (i.e. our hands and feet), so that it can focus on supplying vital organs like your heart, lungs, and brain instead.
the cold naturally makes your muscles feel more tense and tight
This makes the soft tissues around the joints less pliable, so joints can feel tight, stiff, and rather uncomfortable.
This tension can lead to less mobility and flexibility in the joints which may make it harder to perform daily task and mean you’re living with increased joint pain and soreness over the colder months.
But not to worry, there are some incredibly powerful, natural methods to reduce these aches and pains, so why not try the following…
#1 Keep moving
Exercise is an important part of life, and as it gets colder and darker people often push it to one side, but it is essential to keep your body active.
Over the winter months it is more common to spend more time indoors which can naturally result in you moving your body less, as well as less motivation to go to the gym or take part in exercise.
So, instead of being bundled up on the sofa, try swimming in a warm pool, stretching with yoga or Pilates, brisk walking and gentle weight training to keep your body active and fit which can help to combat aches and pains.
#2 Keep warm and warm up properly
If you’re cold there is a high chance that when you go to exert yourself, you might pull something and end up giving yourself an injury.
Warming up your muscles properly before any activity is key to decreasing the chance of straining any soft tissues with some experts maintaining that warming up your body over the winter months is more important than the actual exercise itself.
#3 Drink plenty of water
Hydration is always important, but it’s especially vital in the winter months.
Due to the cold temperatures, people often neglect their water intake, but the dry, cold air can make you feel dehydrated, tired, and achy, all of which can be reduced by staying hydrated.
If you aren’t a fan of plain water, making a cup of warm tea is an excellent way to get more hydration in the winter, hot drinks can also help you to stay warm.
#4 Make healthy food choices
In the winter months, a well-balanced diet will help to keep your body functioning optimally and provide the vitamins and minerals it needs.
This can be beneficial in helping you to avoid picking up illnesses and the associated aches and pains.
Eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables will go a long way, but if you’re not a fan try blending them into a delicious, warming soup.
#5 Give your body some TLC
One way to combat winter aches and pains is to sooth all your senses and indulge in some self-care.
Steaming your senses with eucalyptus and other essential oils is a great way to relieve any congestion in your nasal pathway.
To get an added boost, self-massage around your sinuses to drain them from any mucus build up can also be very helpful for alleviating pain.
Start by taking a deep breath in and then back out again. As you breathe out push your hands from your nose, out towards your cheeks.
Known to treat muscle and joint pain, as well as being antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and providing a calming effect, essential oils can provide a relaxing aroma to promote healing.
If you do find yourself suffering with aches and pains, CBD and essential oils can help, and when applied topically can offer rapid and intensive relief.
Try Holistic Impact CBD Body Salve, which contains 1500mg of active, highly concentrated CBD combined with Eucalyptus and Lavender oils.
Holistic Impact CBD Body Salve can be used by athletes at the highest level for sports recovery, as well as by adults and children to treat niggling stiffness, aches, pains, and inflamed joints.
#6 Pain can be psychological
Pain often makes us feel upset and tired, and can even stop us getting out and about, so not only can pain can exacerbate a low mood, but the reverse is true too.
It’s a vicious cycle so If you feel that you’re not coping – with pain or your mood – reach out to your GP or even your friends and family.
Finding coping mechanisms that work for you, such as exercise can have amazing benefits on our physical health and our mental health.
#7 Try stretching
Stretching is also an amazing way to alleviate winter aches and pains.
It is also important to stretch your neck and shoulders as a lot of tension can build up in that area due to being hunched in the cold weather, or shivering.
Individuals should also mobilise the thoracic spine, this is because all our organs are located by the rib cage so by releasing your diaphragm it will enable your body to continue working effectively and stay healthy.