Stiff, achy joints are never pleasant. They can feel even worse in the wintertime, when the cold, damp weather sets in — even here in Texas, it can be bone-chillingly cold for weeks on end.
One of the most common types of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). Also known as “wear-and-tear” arthritis or degenerative joint disease, it occurs when the cartilage that protects your bones starts to deteriorate, often getting worse with age. When cartilage disappears, your bones rub against one another within the joint, and this friction causes pain and stiffness.
At Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio in San Antonio and Live Oak, Texas, Dr. Sergio Alvarado and our expert team help you manage your arthritis pain so you can get on with your active life. Here are a few of our top tips for better OA care in the cold weather months.
Arthritis comes in many shapes and sizes, including OA and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, and fibromyalgia. The Arthritis Foundation reports that one in three adults aged 18-64 suffer from some form of doctor-diagnosed, arthritis-related joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness.
No matter what type of arthritis you have, healthy habits can help alleviate symptoms and keep your joints healthy. We recommend that you:
Walking, yoga, dance classes, and any low-impact physical activity helps your joints stay flexible, strengthens surrounding muscles, and improves your blood flow — all of which serves to help you reduce joint pain and inflammation and stay mobile. Prioritize your exercise for long-term health.
Added weight means extra stress on your hips, knees, and ankles, which can contribute to worsening arthritis pain. Dropping excess pounds can go a long way in helping you reduce your arthritis symptoms. Bonus: If you make daily physical activity a priority, you’ll lose weight and enhance your joint health. It’s a win-win.
Heating pads or a warm compress can relax stiff, achy joints. Heat also increases blood flow through your body, so when you stay warm, you improve your joint mobility. If you tend to “run cold,” you might also try wrapping up in a fleece blanket at home, or wearing more winter gear when you’re outside.
We offer a full scope of therapeutic injections for joint pain relief. From corticosteroids and lubricating hyaluronic acid injections to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, we identify the best course of action for your arthritis symptoms and pain relief goals.
For example, hyaluronic acid injections can help ease the pain and stiffness caused by knee OA, while PRP therapy can reduce arthritis-related inflammation and pain as it promotes healing within the joint.
This ancient treatment approach alleviates joint pain by targeting specific body areas that improve blood flow and communication throughout your body. Acupuncture can ease joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness, improve circulation, and leave you feeling more relaxed.
No matter what winter has in store for you this year, with healthy habits, you can manage your arthritis symptoms — rather than allowing them to manage you.
Our team at Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio specializes in effective pain relief and arthritis management. Call your nearest office in San Antonio or Live Oak, Texas, today, or book your appointment with our online scheduling tool any time.