Do Your Bones Ache In The Cold? 5 Ways To Treat Symptoms Of Arthritis

It’s a chilly evening outside, and the freezing temperatures aren’t doing your arthritis any favors. Do your bones ache in the cold? If so, you’re not alone – many arthritis patients find that the cold weather makes their condition worse.

But why does arthritis hurt more in the cold? Basically, cold and damp weather worsens joint pain as the barometric pressure makes joints swell, placing pressure on the nerves. The cold also reduces circulation, which can increase pain.

If your bones ache in the cold from arthritis, you know how devastating it can be. However, you don’t need to suffer all winter – help is available. Read on for five of the best ways to treat symptoms of arthritis in cold weather.

1. Keep Yourself Warm

Although the winter months can be ice-cold, it’s possible to ease arthritis systems by keeping your body as warm as possible. When you need to go outside, dressing in layers can help, as they trap in body heat. Always wear mittens, a hat, a scarf, and warm socks, protecting your extremities.

Inside, you might feel more comfortable with a heating pad or electric blanket, or enjoying a warm shower or bath to ease the chill. If you have a programmable thermostat, try to adjust it so the house is warmer at the times of day when you feel arthritis pain the most, such as early morning or evenings.

2. Talk To Your Doctor

If you find your arthritis is getting noticeably worse in the cold, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the issue. While many arthritis patients get benefits from using over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or NSAIDs, there might be more going on.

Your doctor might be able to adjust your prescription medications to give you more relief from the cold temperatures.

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Image by humberto chavez on Unsplash: If you’re experiencing changes in your arthritis symptoms, always talk to your doctor.

3. Wear Supportive Joint Splints

What helps arthritis in cold weather? For some patients, joint splints can make a big difference. These are compression garments that fit tightly over your wrist, knee, or other joints, providing support and encouraging correct positioning.

If you really feel the cold in your thumbs and fingers, for example, you might find that a wrist splint can help provide relief. Often, your doctor or therapist will recommend you wear these devices at night.

When you’re feeling a flare-up coming on, wearing the splint might help. However, check your hands or joints regularly after wearing the splint to make sure they aren’t sore or red, as this could indicate that the splint is too tight or that you have an allergy to its material.

4. Relieve Symptoms With CBD

You might have heard about CBD and its ability to relieve pain. But does CBD help with arthritis?

CBD is an oil that’s derived from the cannabis plant, used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties; it’s one of several natural herbs that can help with arthritis. Many arthritis patients find that CBD can be effective, especially in the winter months.

Anecdotal research shows that with CBD use, arthritis patients enjoy improved sleep, a noticeable decrease in pain, and reduced anxiety about their condition. Research also shows that topical application of CBD can help relieve pain and inflammation for arthritis. CBD is also effective for joint pain caused by osteoarthritis.

You might be surprised at the immediate relief CBD can provide, so it’s worth trying out if you’re looking for a natural pain remedy.

5. Adjust Your Exercise Routine

Exercise is important for everyone, especially those with arthritis. It increases flexibility and strength, which can help with joint pain. However, when it’s bitterly cold outside and everything hurts, the last thing you want to do is go outdoors and exercise.

If you can adjust your exercise routine to suit the cold weather, you might feel better. Try exercising indoors, where it will be easier to stay comfortable and warm. Swimming or water aerobics in an indoor, heated pool can be a great workout, as can something as simple as walking in heated shopping centers.

If you want to join a gym, try to find a personal trainer who has experience in working with arthritis patients, as they can provide a safe, tailored workout to meet your needs.

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Image by Ravi Patel on Unsplash: What helps arthritis in cold weather? Often, gentle exercise can help.

While working out, you also want to feed your body with nutritious foods and vegetables, avoiding fried, processed foods or foods rich in sugars, as they’re known to make arthritis worse. In winter, we tend to spend much of our time indoors, so you might also want to consider a vitamin D supplement, since you might not be getting enough vitamin D from sunlight when it’s cold out.

While the winter months can be miserable for those with arthritis, the good news is that you don’t need to suffer. Try out some of the tips above and see if they can make a difference. However, if you’re thinking of making any big changes to your medication regime, diet, or lifestyle, always talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe. Then you can start enjoying the winter months, instead of dreading them, thanks to these effective arthritis relief tips.

Featured image by Claudia van Zyl on Unsplash

Medical Marijuana And Immunity In The Winter: All You Need To Know

The winter months are the prime time for colds and flus. Between spending more time indoors with poor air circulation, and the fact that viruses tend to thrive in cold, low-humidity conditions, winter makes it much easier for people to get sick more frequently.

This is why it’s vital to keep the immune system healthy and working at its best. When the immune system is able to fight off colds and flus, it can lead to less frequent and less severe illness, and a healthier winter season overall. But what does medical marijuana have to do with the health of the immune system? Here’s all you need to know about medical marijuana and immunity in the winter.

Does the winter weaken your immune system?

It’s been a topic of debate among the scientific community for decades, but recent research has found that there’s more to flu season than just packed indoor spaces and a virus’s ability to thrive in colder weather. As it turns out, the human body becomes more susceptible to colds and flus in the winter months for a variety of reasons, one of which is entirely biological.

Exposure to cold weather has now been proven to be a driver of the uptick in colds and flus because it weakens the immune system. This cold-weather-induced suppression of the immune system makes it harder for the body to fight off pathogens if they do happen to get into the body.

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Image by Len Mora on Unsplash: Medical marijuana can hinder the immune system’s ability to fight off infection, but only if you have a strong immune system to start with.

Cannabinoids and the immune system

The endocannabinoid system is a cell-signaling system. It plays a vital role in many bodily systems, including appetite and digestion, metabolism, mood, cognitive function, and inflammation and immune system responses. Within the endocannabinoid system are receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. The endocannabinoids are created by the body but are similar to the cannabinoids found in medical marijuana.

When it comes to the immune system, cannabinoids have the ability to modulate certain immune reactions in the brain that can help to influence cytokine expression and the balance of T-cell subsets. Since endocannabinoids can be synthesized by immune cells, they are also influenced by cannabinoids that come from outside sources such as medical marijuana.

How does MMJ affect the immune system?

Medical marijuana, especially with high THC levels, may influence the immune system in a negative way. Studies have found that THC could actually lead to damaged immunity by hindering the much-needed inflammatory response that initiates the battle against pathogens, leaving the body more susceptible to infections.

On the opposite side, those with autoimmune diseases or other chronic conditions that are caused by the overactivity of the immune system may be helped by the use of medical marijuana. This is because cannabis can actually reduce the inflammatory response within the body, and for those with an overactive immune system, it leads to a balance in the immune response. Some research has also found that cannabis may modulate certain neurological responses that could help with immunity.

Cannabis for cold and flu

While cannabis isn’t a cure for a cold or flu, it can sometimes help people deal with the symptoms involved, such as inflammation, pain, and trouble sleeping. During a bout with the cold or a flu, the body goes through some immune system processes. The inflammatory response designed to help the body fight off the infection could initiate a fever, a sore throat, and swelling in the nasal passages. Studies have shown that medical marijuana can help to reduce this inflammatory response, and thus, those with a cold or flu may benefit from its use if only for symptom relief.

Studies have also found that cannabis can help to regulate or induce sleep. Those with colds or flus often suffer from a dysregulated sleep cycle. Medicating with marijuana may help to keep the sleep cycle as regular as possible, which will in turn aid in fighting off the illness. Finally, there are also aches and pains to contend with when fighting off a cold or flu. Medical marijuana is a proven pain reliever, and can help patients with cold or flu-induced pains to find relief while they recover.

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Image by Brittany Colette on Unsplash: Medical marijuana may help to relieve cold and flu symptoms such as swollen nasal passages.

Can CBD oil help a cold?

Similar to all types of cannabis, CBD oil has been proven to provide relief from many symptoms such as chronic pain and inflammation. It does this by hindering the inflammatory response in the body. When a person is suffering from a cold, using CBD oil may help to relieve symptoms driven by that overactive inflammatory response.

It won’t be a cure, but CBD oil will work just as well as other types of cannabis in helping someone get through the cold or flu. It’s important to mention that those who do use CBD may also experience a hindered immune system response to pathogens because it, like other forms of cannabis, can suppress immune function.

Using medical marijuana in the winter is important for your specific health condition, because you’ll want to be as healthy as possible during cold and flu season. By practicing good hygiene, eating a diet that can help boost immune function, and continuing on with your treatment, you can avoid the flu and cold as well as anyone even while using medical marijuana.

Featured image by Dimitris Chapsoulas on Unsplash