by Melissa Diaz, DC

winterWinter weather plays a major role in the way that our body moves and interacts with the world around us. The drop in temperature and changes in barometric pressure tend to cause uncomfortable pressure in the weight bearing joints, making them feel stiff and achy. Most common areas of pain include the knees, hips, low back, and shoulders.This is most prevalent among people who suffer from arthritis or DJD (Degenerative Joint Disease). When the injury to the joint has been present for many years and it is not functioning the way that it is supposed to, the chances that it will flare up during a cold weather spell is almost inevitable. Activities like shoveling snow and scraping ice off a windshield can seem daunting and can worsen an already compromised joint. So what can be done? Short of moving to a warmer climate, there are a few options:

Eat healthy and nutrient rich foods – A proper diet will decrease inflammation in the body and provide much needed energy to get moving.

Exercise – Keep the joints from being stiff and sore. The temptation to stay sedentary will only worsen the joint problem in time. Light exercise such as walking on a treadmill at home or swimming at an indoor pool are beneficial and easy to do on the winter months.

Maintain a Healthy Weight – It will decrease the load on your joints, particularly in the low back and knees.

See Your Chiropractor! – Chiropractors add movement to joints through specific chiropractic adjustments. This allows achy joints to regain their normal range of motion and function properly. Your chiropractor can also help you find ways to limit any further damage to your joints and get you ready to face the next season feeling your best!