Combating Joint Pain in Winter
Pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints can often become more of a problem in the winter months. This can occur for a variety of reasons such as changes in temperature, air pressure, or a reduction in exercise routines due to darker, stormier days. No matter the cause, you needn’t suffer through winter with an achy body. The below strategies can be used to help improve joint comfort and decrease pain and stiffness both in the winter months and year-round.
Movement is key for overall health and wellbeing, especially that of the joints! It increases the strength of surrounding tissues and helps to improve range of motion and flexibility. Exercise also helps to improve poor circulation, which can both be caused and exacerbated by joint pain. Don’t let the dark days put you off; try going for a brisk walk on your lunch break and take a few minutes to move about for every hour spent stationary at your desk. Stretching is also very beneficial, you may want to consider doing some Pilates or yoga classes or simply move the body for a few minutes morning and night in ways that feel good to your muscles and joints.
To combat the cold, warm your body up from the inside out. Drink warm rather than cold water during the day and plenty of warming herbal teas such as Spice of Life! Make the most of winter fruits by stewing them, and gently warming them before eating. Lunch and dinner call for soups, stews, and curries. Use warming herbs and spices in cooking, such as cayenne, chilli, black pepper, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon. Even try adding a pinch of powdered ginger to the (warm) water in your drink bottle!
For extra support, consider adding one of the following supplements into your routine.
- Collagen helps to support cartilage health, the rubbery tissue that protects the ends of bones. Even better is Collagen Type 2, which makes up the majority of collagen found in joints. Neocell’s Move Matrix contains this Type 2, along with other joint-nourishing ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, hyaluronic acid, as well as a range of warming herbs for an all-round approach to joint health.
- Fish Oil & Omega-3s have been shown in studies to reduce symptoms such as inflammation, pain, stiffness and swelling of joints. However, it is important to ensure that the dose you are taking is high enough to experience benefit and that the fish oil is not rancid. Aka, avoid cheap and low-quality fish oil supplements as they typically will not offer benefit to joint pain. We like Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega as it provides a high-quality, sustainable source of concentrated fish oil. Two capsules twice daily provide a therapeutic dose of Omega-3s for optimum joint health. You should notice a difference within a few weeks!
- Herbal Medicine may also play a role in relieving pain and inflammation contributing to joint discomfort. Our Joint Ease Tonic has been formulated with a blend of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving herbs, or for a therapeutic and tasty option, consider our Turmeric Elixir. Applying topical ointments such as our Warming Rub around the area may also help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation, giving symptomatic relief to the joint. If your joint pain is chronic, give us a call on (07) 825 7444 or speak to your local Naturopath or Medical Herbalist for personalised, high-strength practitioner-only recommendations.