Winter means many happy things for most: Christmas, snow and festivities. On the other hand, for arthritis sufferers, the colder weather can cause an increased amount of pain.
What is arthritis?
According to the NHS, rheumatoid arthritis is a “long term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.” Although individuals who have been diagnosed with arthritis suffer all year round, some research suggests that colder months could cause arthritis flare ups to become worse.
Minimising arthritis pain in the winter
Although people with arthritis can suffer more as the colder weather hits, there are a number of ways you can attempt to minimise your discomfort. Here are our top four:
Everybody needs to keep warm in the winter, but for arthritis sufferers, this is even more important. Aching hands should be kept warm with gloves, and extra layers should be added onto pain areas such as knees and legs. If you often wear skirts or dresses, ensure you wear thick tights or leggings underneath to help to keep your joints warm.
It is also important to remember to wear multiple thin layers as opposed to one single thick one. Clothes made from wool, cotton or fleecy fibres help to maintain your body heat better than materials such as polyester.
Of course, it’s paramount to stay warm when you’re in your home too. We recommend that your living room temperature should be kept to at least 21C during the winter months, especially if you are aged over 65.
One theory behind arthritis pain worsening in the winter is the fact that it is harder to remain active. Cold weather and long evenings make it very difficult to want to leave your warm and cosy home.
It goes without saying that it’s just as important to exercise in the winter as it is throughout the rest of the year. Even if you don’t want to leave your house, it is worth trying out some home exercises to help to keep you active. Some can even be done from the comfort of your chair or sofa!
The Arthritis Foundation also recommends swimming as a source of exercise for arthritis sufferers. The water’s support and the lack of joint impact makes swimming a great cardio alternative to running, and the water can have a soothing effect on your achy joints too!
Keep a balanced, healthy diet
Of course, sticking to a healthy, balanced diet is compulsory all year round for everybody. There are however certain foods which are said to be great for arthritis sufferers. This is because they all offer benefits such as anti-inflammatory, boosting the immune system and strengthening bones. Here are some of the recommended foods that can help to ease RA pain:
- Oily fish such as salmon, tuna or mackerel
- Soy – beans such as edamame and tofu
- Green tea – contains anti-oxidants which are believed to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, limes and grapefruits offer immune system boosting benefits
- Red beans and kidney beans are packed with fibre and protein
There is limited sunshine in the winter months, so sometimes your body can be deprived from vitamin D. It is recommended that RA sufferers take vitamin D supplements to help your bones to absorb more calcium.
Riser recliner chair
Riser recliner chairs can offer great levels of comfort to those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Built to suit your exact size and requirements, they can offer you maximum support. Simply sit back, relax and enjoy temporary relief from your arthritic pain.
On top of this, riser recliners allow you to sit down and rise to your feet at the touch of a button. This means that strain is reduced from your legs and hips, offering you further temporary pain relief.
Our riser recliner chairs also come with the option of an in-built heat and massage system, perfect for these chilly winter months! Not only will a heated riser recliner chair keep you warm and cosy in the winter, you can also reap the benefits of a massage whenever you feel like it! Massage can help to relieve pain and stiffness for arthritis sufferers.
(Please note: using a riser recliner with our without massage is not a cure for any medical conditions or chronic illness such as arthritis.)
Find out more:
Want to find out more about how a riser recliner could help you this winter? Click here to request your free brochure, or simply give our friendly team a call on 0800 854 330 today!