Arthritis can be a hard condition to manage at any time of year, but especially so in the winter, where lower temperatures can lead to thickening of the synovial fluid, which provides your joints with the lubrication they need to work well. When this fluid thickens, it can lead to pain and stiffening, making your symptoms worse.
Aim to keep your home heated to at least 18 degrees C to ensure you’re warm enough as the mercury drops. There are grants and benefits available to help you make your home more energy efficient if you are struggling to keep the heating on at the moment. Consider investigating the likes of Cold Weather Payments and the Winter Fuel Payment for additional support.
It’s also important to stay as active as you can during the winter if you have arthritis, as this can help ease any pain you’re in, as well as increasing both strength and mobility, while helping to keep you warm.
Low impact exercises are advisable, such as yoga or swimming, but there are other options you can do at home, such as sit-to-stand exercises, figure of eights with your legs, mountain climbers and so on.
If you’re feeling particularly sore and achy, you can help relieve your symptoms by using a hot water bottle on the affected area. This will help to increase blood flow and potentially help soothe any stiffness you’re experiencing, as well as keeping you nice and warm when it’s cold, windy and rainy outside.
And, finally, wearing lots of layers can help keep you warm and ease your arthritis at this time of year. Layers of loose clothing will trap the heat in more effectively than thicker garments – and don’t forget that we have gadgets like heated gloves and hand warmers at our disposal these days, bringing you even more relief very quickly.