Body pain in winter escalates. Blame it on the drastic change of barometric pressure that controls the expansion of tissues triggering pain in winter. The fluids between the tissues become more viscous as the mercury drops and that reduces the elasticity of the muscles. The situation is even worse with those suffering from arthritis. In winter, the joints become stiff giving rise to acute pain. The aged are worst affected as their mobility gets restricted in winter.
With lots of holidaying and partying on cards, winter is not the season to remain crippled in pain. For effective winter induced pain management, the following natural remedies are worth trying.
More physical activities:
You need to come out of the hibernating mode in winter. The season should be packed with regular physical activities. Weight training, low- intensity aerobics, cycling, jogging, walking, swimming in heated pools whatever comes in your mind, just engage in those freely. You may need to maintain certain restrictions depending on existing bone and joint conditions, but a slight escalation in physical activities is a great way to tackle this winter malady.
Enjoy ginger tea:
Nothing can beat body pain better in winter than by sipping few cups of ginger tea. Gingerol present in ginger is a great anti-inflammatory agent that is effective in reducing all sorts of body pain in winter. Ginger also enhances blood circulation in muscles and joints preventing further painful conditions.
Normal water intake is a must:
You drink less water in winter you get more of body aches. Hot caffeinated drinks or beverages can’t substitute water as they act as diuretics leaving your body dehydrated. Less intake of water gives rise to painful muscular cramps. Maintain your normal water intake compulsorily. If the normal winter temperature of water hurts your throat, drink lukewarm water.
Apply hot treatment:
You can either opt for steam therapy or use a hot water bag. You can apply the steam from hot water on your painful knee, elbow or finger joints. Soaking the painful parts in hot water for 10-15 minutes also gives quick relief. Note the water temperature should be well within tolerable limits. You can use the hot water bag 2-3 times a day especially before going to bed at night.
Apply ice pack:
You may shiver at the name of this treatment but it really works especially if your joints get inflamed or swollen. Wrap ice cubes in a plastic bag (ice bag would better serve the purpose) and place on the painful joints for 10-15 minutes. This can be done 2-3 times a day depending on the condition.
Take hot showers or hot bath:
Taking hot showers twice a day is a great natural remedy to reduce body pain in winter. Muscle pull and cramps are quite common in winter especially if you are engaged in high- intensity workouts or sports. Hot showers help in maintaining flexibility of muscles and proper functioning of the blood circulation. Alternatively, hot baths can be extremely soothing in winter that relaxes your muscles and improves blood circulation. Adding a cup of Epsom salt in the bath water gives more benefits.
Get a relaxing massage:
Body massages are great in winters but a massage from a professional would yield better results. Massaging the inflamed area with oil improves blood circulation gradually reducing the pain. Hot oil massage gives better results.
Use cabbage leaves:
You can use this winter vegetable to manage your joint pain better in winter. This is because cabbage contains high amounts of phytonutrients like anthocyanins and glutamine having strong anti-inflammatory properties. Savoy cabbages would be a better choice. Take few broad leaves of cabbage. Remove the midrib. Take a rolling pin and roll over the flattened cabbage leaves till the juice comes out. Place the leaves in layers on the inflamed area and wrap with a soft cloth or bandage. You can also use blanched leaves for making the poultice.
Take Vitamin D enriched foods:
Months without sunshine during winter may reduce your Vitamin D level. This is very often related to heightened body pain during winter. Take more of Vitamin D enriched foods like milk, dairy products, fish oil and egg yolk. On sunny days, spend some leisure hours outdoors to enable natural Vitamin D production in your body through sunlight.
Manage diabetes and hypertension:
People suffering from the above diseases are vulnerable to body pain during winter. The same up and down of barometric pressure contributes to this seasonal body ache. You may need to take up additional activities to keep blood pressure and sugar in control in winter.