Reviewed by Dr Eki Wari and Physician Anita Pee on November 24, 2022
Best Arthritis Pain Relief Tips During Cold Weather
Published | 5 min read
Keep these arthritis pain relief tips handy this winter when cold weather takes a toll on your joints and makes it hard to perform simple tasks.
Arthritis pain relief is needed more in the winter than in any other month. Have you ever noticed that your sore, achy joints worsen when the temperatures drop?
This can make simple tasks challenging, such as tying your shoes with swollen fingers or getting out of bed with hip and back pain.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to ease joint pain and stiffness. These arthritis pain relief tips can help keep your joints comfortable in the cold weather.
Why Is Arthritis Pain Worse In Winter?
Although cold weather doesn’t cause arthritis, it can worsen aches and pains. This is because, according to the Arthritis Foundation, cold temperatures increase pain sensitivity, reduce blood circulation, and induce muscle spasms.
Additionally, our joints may detect and respond to air pressure in the atmosphere, causing tendons and muscles to shrink.
Low temperatures also increase synovial fluid thickness, which is the fluid that acts as your joint’s shock absorber. This can make joints stiffer and puts more stress on joints that were already painful to begin with.
Winter and cold weather may also keep us indoors and deplete us of
Research shows that low levels of vitamin D is common among rheumatoid arthritis patients. It may even lead to the development and worsening of symptoms.
Arthritis pain and cold weather, according to TCM
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), winter weather can cause Coldness, Wind and Dampness that lead to external pathogenic factors that can invade the body and cause illnesses or imbalances in the body.
“These external pathogenic Cold, Wind and
Cold Weather Arthritis Pain Relief Tips
Keeping your joints and body warm in the winter can help tame some of your symptoms. Here are some ways to do that:
Try warming herbs
“Warming herbs and spices can help improve
“Commonly used herbal prescriptions to treat arthritis pain and joint pain include Juan Bi Tang and Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang. They contain herbs such as Notopterygium (
Taking a joint health supplement with herbs may also help reduce inflammation, induce blood flow, and alleviate pain. Consuming warm herbal teas and soups in the winter may also have a similar effect.
Stimulate acupressure points
Acupressure can help reduce arthritis and joint pain. Physician Pee recommends stimulating the following acupoints:
- Da Zhui (GV14): Boosts yang energy to dispel Cold and Dampness from the body
- Xue Hai (SP10): Invigorates Blood to remove Blood Stasis and dispel Wind
Local points that move local qi and remove Stagnation:
- For elbow joint pain: Qu Chi (LI11)
- For wrist joint pain: Wai Guan (SJ5)
- For finger joint pain:
- For knee joint pain: Xi Yan (EX-LE5)
- For ankle joint pain: Jie Xi (ST41)
“Massage these points for 3-5 minutes, several times a day. It may also be helpful to perform moxibustion at these points for a better warming effect,” stated Physician Pee.
It’s hard to get motivated to exercise in the winter, but doing so helps keep your joints and muscles loose.
Regular physical exercise also boost
Aim for about 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Include two strength training sessions and start slow if needed.
Remember, your arthritis pain relief plan may require multiple approaches. Adding warming herbs, acupressure, and exercise to your wellness routine can help. Always check with your
- Cedars Sinai. 2022. Why is Arthritis Worse in the Winter?
- Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine. 2018. Assessment of Vitamin D in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Its Correlation with Disease Activity.
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