By: Marie Serrado
As winter blankets the world, many of us find ourselves grappling with the unwelcome companionship of seasonal aches and pains. But fear not! In this short blog, we’ll explore the comforting embrace of physical therapy, your key to navigating winter with ease.
Understanding Winter Aches:
As winter’s chill descends, stiff joints and muscle tension become unwelcome companions, making even the simplest tasks a bit more challenging. Cold weather aches and pains can be attributed to fluctuations in barometric pressure, prolonged periods of inactivity, or changes in joint fluid viscosity. These factors contribute to the expansion of tendons, muscles, and joints, potentially causing discomfort—especially for those already grappling with conditions like arthritis. Staying mindful of these influences allows for a proactive approach to alleviate and prevent winter-related discomfort.
Enter Physical Therapy:
When physical therapy is involved, it helps not only in addressing the immediate symptoms of cold weather aches and pains but also in fostering long-term resilience, promoting improved joint mobility, and enhancing overall physical well-being. With physical therapy they tailor individual programs in order to figure out the causes for your discomfort and pain. With targeted strategies, it not only relieves pain but empowers you to move through winter with comfort and confidence.
Although physical therapy doesn’t have to be confined to a clinic, you can put some winter-ready exercises into your routine to help ease those aches and pains. By incorporating gentle stretches, joint mobility exercises, and mindful movement this can contribute to increased flexibility and reduced stiffness. However, always consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist to ensure these exercises align with your specific needs and health conditions. Some winter-ready exercises you can try are:
- Gentle Stretches: some gentle stretches help warm up the body while also helping improve flexibility. An example of a gentle stretch exercise would be the Cat-Cow Stretch.
- The Cat-Cow Stretch: can be done by going On all fours, place your palms directly underneath your shoulders and your hips directly over your knees.
- Then, arch your back, bringing your stomach toward the floor, as you look forward and bring your shoulders back to stretch the chest.
- Exhale as move your spine upward, pulling the navel in toward the spine and rounding the spine up toward the ceiling.
- Repeat 5 times
- Joint Mobility Exercise: with joint mobility exercises it helps keep joints supple and responsive. An example of joint mobility exercise is Walking. With walking even if it’s just 20 min, you are moving your body and this helps you use and strengthen your joints. Make sure you are wearing a good pair of walking shoes, and proper clothing. Short walks everyday can help with joint pain, especially during the winter.
As winter unfolds, let physical therapy be your trusted companion in the journey to wellness. Say goodbye to seasonal aches and hello to a winter filled with comfort and joy. Embrace the healing touch of physical therapy and move through the season with ease.
Remember, consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist for personalized advice tailored to your unique needs.
- Mansour, Stephanie. “Loosen up Stiff Winter Posture with These 5 Stretches.” CNN, Cable News Network, 16 Dec. 2021, www.cnn.com/2021/12/16/health/improve-posture-stretches-wellness/index.html.
- OrthopaedicsMonday, Summit, and Summit Orthopaedics. “Exercises to Help Decrease Joint Pain in the Winter – Summit Orthopaedics Blog.” Summit Orthopaedics, www.summitortho.net/blog/archive/2022/01/17/exercises-to-help-decrease-joint-pain-in-the-winter/. Accessed 17 Nov. 2023.
- Unjia, Hardik. “Cold Weather and Body Ache.” Cold Weather and Body Ache: Cardio Metabolic Institute: Multi-Specialty Group, www.cminj.com/blog/cold-weather-and-body-ache#:~:text=Reasons%20why%20cold%20weather%20aches,in%20joints%20affected%20by%20arthritis. Accessed 17 Nov. 2023.