We love you Blighty but winter is with us again and the country is covered in layers of freezing snow. Somewhat of a shock for the people of Welwyn and Hatfield. Unfortunately, some of us know winter is coming long before it arrives because our muscles, joints and bodies ache like we have fallen out the fourth floor window and like Scrooge’s old ghosts injuries come back to haunt us.
Whether you have sore muscles, low back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpel tunnel, trapped nerves or just a bad knee or hip from that fall you had 30 years ago, winter can be a time when you feel old and in pain.
Lets end it here I here you say !
But help is at hand at The Hatfield Practice….. there are a few simple steps you can take to ease the aches of cold winter weather pain.
It may sound like common sense, but it needs repeating. The best way to avoid cold-related aches and pains is to stay warm ( you know layers of under clothes ). Dress warmly, even when you’re inside the house. Heating is expensive but you could invest in a heated under blanket for your bed – this will feel like warm heaven instead of the usual damp lettuce feeling cold sheets can give you. After a hot bath why not relax in your warm bed for a hour.You can also turn your house’s heating system up ( A little !), close doors and of course make sure you take opportunity with the grants for insulation so costs are kept to a minimum. Just remember the cold weather in the UK won’t last forever.
When dressing to keep war, keep your clothes for the following day on the central heating radiator overnight and they will feel lovely in the morning. You should also remember that several layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one overlarge jacket or jumper. By keeping your body warm, your joints won’t stiffen up and hurt as much. Warm muscles and joints are a less likely to stiffen or spasm which can lead to new injuries and renewed pain.
Another way to tackle winter-related joint pain is to drink sufficient fluids to keep your body properly hydrated. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, lethargy and general muscle soreness. Those over 65 should take particular care to drink enough as seniors are more affected by dehydration than others. Even better, you can drink a hot beverage such as soup, hot chocolate or tea to stay warm and hydrated at the same time
When choosing your beverages, be careful to avoid too much caffeine. Restricted blood flow or poor circulation can bring on debilitating joint diseases including Reynaud’s Phenomenon, where fingers and toes become numb and turn blue. Two of the many substances that cause blood to flow less freely are caffeine and nicotine these can leave you full of aches and pains slowing your body’s ability to heal. Reducing, or eliminating, your intake of both substances will reduce the chances of developing major joint pain. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and most sodas and nicotine, in tobacco.
Look up some old fashioned recipies for stews and casseroles as they provide internal heat and keep the body going for hours.
To keep your body, muscles and joints warm and flexible, stick to a regular exercise routine. There are many advantages to exercising these include increased joint function improved muscle strength and the maintenance of a healthy level of bone density.
If you don’t usually exercise start slowly with a relatively gentle routine before moving on to something more energetic. Another option would be to become a member of the local health club or gym and take advantage of the exercise equipment and personal trainers that these places offer – they often have steam rooms and hot spa facilities. You can also get a good deal in the St Albans, Hatfield or Welwyn Garden City areas this time of year as there is so much competition.
The best treatment for any pain is prevention. If you suffer from joint, back or neck pain then regular visits to The Hatfield Practice can do wonders to keep winter aches and pains at bay.
Osteopathy, Acupuncture,Physiotherapy, Massage and Spinal manipulation and other holistic techniques may almost certainly help you by treating your specific conditions that are aggravated by the rain , snow and cold each year.
Cold and humid weather has been scientifically proven to aggravate and bring on symptoms of many bio mechanical disorders and as you know aggravate old injuries due to restrictions in blood flow. However, contrary to some beliefs, winter aches and pains are not something that you must “learn to live with.” The Staff at the Hatfield Practice can determine a course of treatment and make recommendations to ease the pain and may have your muscles feeling like Spring again.
If you would like to learn more please contact Ian Norman at The Hatfield Practice, Ground Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Tel 01707 888229