Why are my aches and pains worse in the winter?

Eileen Durward
Ask Eileen

09 January 2015

5 winter factors which worsen menopausal aches & pains

So why does joint pain get worse in the winter? This is a really easy one to answer. Joint pain feeling worse during the winter may be due to a number of factors but all are easy to rectify.

1. In the winter we definitely drink less plain water – it’s not really very appealing when we are feeling chilly, but remember that dehydration is one of the primary causes of joint pain. The cold can also decrease our tolerance to pain so everything can seem more painful.

2. We spend more time indoors in the warm with central heating and, again, this kind of heat is very drying.

3. We tend to be less active in the winter, wanting to hug the sofa rather than going for a nice evening walk. Lack of mobility will tend to weaken the muscles holding our joints in place, making the bones more likely to creak or grind together.

4. In the cold weather we gravitate towards comfort foods which tend to be high in sugar and bad fats and we know that these foods can irritate the joints, leading to inflammation.

5. Stress is a big factor in the menopause and the acidic chemicals it produces can really affect the joints; plus stress will affect our nervous system, making general symptoms worse as well.

So… by the end of January our poor old joints can really feel the abuse we have thrown at them!

5 ways to help your joints in the winter

1. Well, as I am always saying, ‘water, water, water’! Keep up with drinking plain water but remember that it is really important to drink it warm or at least at room temperature during the winter months. Also, keep your intake of caffeine right down.

2. Keep moving! The other day on the TV, health experts were saying that a 20 minute walk every day could keep all sorts of major diseases at bay. Walking will improve your muscles, oxygenate your body and make you feel better. If your joints are too sore for walking, try swimming instead; and you can even keep active sitting in a chair (see books by Margaret Hills on Amazon).

3. Diet can have a positive influence on your joint health. Many fruit and vegetables have properties which reduce inflammation so try and keep to a healthy diet with lots of fresh food.

4. If stress is an issue then herbs such as AvenaCalm and Passiflora can be used to help calm your nervous system and don’t forget the magnesium!

5. If you need herbal help for joint pain see Devil’s Claw and Atrogel® Arnica Gel. Arnica is familiar to many people as a treatment for bruises, but it is also a popular remedy for relieving muscle aches, joint pains and stiffness too.

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