While the winter weather has the whole country in its clutches, those suffering chronic pain from an auto collision could lie in bed for days at a time. Ask anybody who is a survivor of a collision and they will swear that the weather, especially cold weather, plays a big role in the intensity of their pain.
The typical explanation for bad-weather-related aches is that the drop in barometric pressure that comes with a storm causes soft tissue and fluid around joints to expand irritating nerves and causing pain, especially at the sensitized site of an arthritic joint or an old injury. Many people say they experience chronic pain and joint pain either just before a storm or when the temperature falls quickly, implying that their bodies are in some way able to register the barometric pressure changes that occur during such times.
Here are some tips to help combat weather changes and chronic pain:
What better way to reduce the cold by bringing in a little heat into the fold? Whenever you feel like the pain has increased as a result of cooler weather, try making heat therapy a part of your daily routine until the climate changes.
Heat therapy reduces stiffness, improves blood circulation and fastens the healing process. A simple quick fix heat therapy option is applying a warm towel to the painful region for around 20 minutes. Alternatively, hot packs and heating pads can also be used. You can find hot packs in most medical stores. These heat packs can be placed at a painful area for up to 7 hours and are quite useful for joint related conditions and back pain.
Water can also be a great relief and will help in alleviating pain as long as it’s warm enough. Using a jacuzzi or a heated indoor pool can do wonders for relaxing your muscles and can also help in soothing intense pain.
The idea of going outdoors in the wintry weather might sound ludicrous and the temptation to curl up in a blanket might be difficult to overcome, but you may have to go out to attend medical appointments. If you venture outside to a medical appointment, you will need to wear boots that help you get a grip on slippery surfaces and employ extra caution with regard to fall prevention.
Nothing aggravates pain like inactivity and during colder climates, inactivity could cause poor circulation. So if you prefer staying inside and you do not have any appointments, try yoga and stretching to keep your body and mind active. It is important to be careful when engaging in physical activity while suffering from a chronic condition. Even mild exercise can cause overexertion resulting in long-lasting fatigue and excessive pain. Always exercise within appropriate ranges and speak with a healthcare professional before engaging in physical activity.
Depression & Chronic Pain
Dark and gloomy days in winter can contribute to depression, which in turn can cause or aggravate chronic pain. Colder temperatures, fewer hours of sunlight and even holiday-related stresses can combine to take a toll on your emotional wellbeing in winter. Some people experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of seasonal depression, or other depressive symptoms that may increase their sensitivity to chronic pain.
Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is frequently deficient among those with chronic pain and depression. Part of the reason we tend to feel slower and sadder during the winter is reduced exposure to sunlight, which lowers vitamin D levels and overall energy. Because vitamin D is synthesized through exposure to sunlight it is common to see levels drop during the winter. Ensuring that your body is getting the vitamin D it needs to function properly may aid in relieving muscle pain and stiffness while also increasing energy.
Weather changes are unavoidable but you can try to manage the worst effects of it. Shout out to all of us fighting a battle that most people don’t understand.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace a physician’s advice. Please always consult your physician for your medical needs.
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