Avoiding cold-induced pain this winter
November has heralded a sharp drop in temperatures across the UK this week. As cold is one of the most commonly reported triggers for pain we thought that we would share some helpful tips with you from Pain-Free Living on avoiding cold-induced pain this winter.
- - Dress warmly and in layers. Provide extra protection for areas that are sensitive to cold.
- - Keep the temperature around your skin as close to your body temperature as you can. This makes it less likely that blood vessels will spasm and close off circulation.
- - Carry hand and foot warmers when outside, or inside too for some extra warmth.
- - Try a wheatbag. Thousands of people swear by these sewn cloth bags filled with grain, often filled with lavender too, these are microwavable and a great way of applying heat therapy to stiff, sore and inflamed areas. They are often available to buy from health shops, larger chemists and widely online.
- - Use insulated drinking glasses or mugs to keep cold away from your fingers.
- - Try to keep the temperature above 18C in your bedroom at night.
- - Place hands under warm (but not hot) water to speed the warming process.
- - Don't smoke as this will damage blood vessels that bring warmth to extremities.
- - Drink caffeinated drinks in moderation as it can cause blood vessels to constrict.
- - Try gentle indoors exercise, such as yoga or swimming in warm water, to increase circulation and keep joints mobile and flexible.
- - Get a massage, especially around painful muscles and joints.
- - Preheat your car before driving, especially if you don't park in a garage.
- - If you suffer from Raynaud's disease, speak to your GP about medications that relax blood vessels and prevents them from narrowing.
- - If you have peripheral neuropathy, look at controlling the underlying cause: controlling blood sugars, adding certain foods or a multivitamin, and getting away from heavy metal exposure.