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Preventing Winter Joint Pain

  • Category: Blog
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  • Written By: Fox Valley Orthopedics
Preventing Winter Joint Pain

Keeping Wintertime Aches and Pains at Bay

Many patients complain that the cooler temperatures exacerbate the pain associated with their underlying health conditions. While many people decide to push through them, there are certain types of pain that can’t be ignored that can get in the way of your day-to-day routine. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can prevent and soothe that pain.

The orthopedic experts at Fox Valley Orthopedics outline ways that you can ward off joint pain during cooler temperatures.

Switch Out Your Footwear

While your favorite pair of heels or loafers may be your favorite accessory to spice up your outfit, they may also be the source of your aches and pains. When you spend a lot of time standing or walking, it is essential that you wear shoes that provide your feet with proper support.

Negative Effects of Wearing Heels

When you wear heels, taller ones can cause you to walk on the balls of your feet. This shift in weight causes you to change your posture and the way you walk, causing excess strain and tension on your ankles, knees, and back.

Signs You Need to Switch Out Your Footwear

Although you may feel tempted to push through the pain to continue wearing your favorite shoes, this can wreak havoc on your joints. Wearing shoes that don’t fit your feet properly can result in the following injuries and conditions:

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it may be time to invest in a new pair of shoes:

  • Your shoes impact your gate.
  • Your tread is worn down.
  • Your feet feel sore after taking your shoes off.
  • You get blisters from your shoes.

It is also important to note that wearing the wrong shoes can intensify the pain associated with existing issues you may have with your feet, ankles, knees, and hips. This is especially true if you have flat feet because your arches require additional support that can require special orthotics to prevent pain.

Fix Your Posture

While having proper posture can be more visually appealing, it can also help to prevent joint pain and even injuries. Whether you spend your day sitting or a desk or standing, keeping proper posture plays an important role in your orthopedic health. When your spine is properly aligned, it reduces tension in your spine and also reduces strain on your supportive muscles and ligaments.

Slouching can lead to the following issues:

  • Misaligned musculoskeletal system
  • Decreased flexibility
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Negatively impact your balance
  • Neck, back, and shoulder pain

Tips to improve your posture: 

  • Adjust your sitting position frequently
  • Get up and walk every few hours
  • Avoid crossing your legs when you sit
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Keep your shoulders back
  • Keep your weight mostly on the balls of your feet

Carry Less in Your Bag

With the holiday season in full swing, you may find yourself carrying heavy bags as you make trips to the grocery store or shop for holiday gifts. However, carrying heavy bags can be a source of shoulder, neck, and upper back pain.

When carrying bags that are excessively heavy, you can actually overstretch the muscles in your shoulders. To avoid this pain, it is recommended that you shouldn’t carry a bag that is more than 10% of your body weight. If you weigh 120 lbs, the bag you’re carrying should not exceed 12 lbs.

Get Up and Get Active

While staying inside to stay warm and cozy can be tempting during the cooler months, spending too much time relaxing can actually result in orthopedic pain. Spending large amounts of time in sitting and laying down positions can cause your joints to become stiffer and weaker over time.

By working exercise into your weekly routine, you can help to alleviate and even prevent the pain from aching your joints. It also helps to strengthen your supportive muscles that help to decrease strain on your joints themselves.

Try Physical Therapy

When you suffer from persistent joint pain, it isn’t uncommon for patients to work with physical therapists to locate the source of their pain and work toward alleviating it. Oftentimes, pain can be caused by poor body mechanics or weak supportive muscles. Your physical therapist may recommend a combination of the following treatments to reduce joint pain and inflammation:

  • Exercises
  • Stretches
  • Massaging
  • Icing
  • Electric stimulation

Consider a Total Joint Replacement

When you live with chronic pain, it can decrease your quality of life and get in the way of your everyday life. If you experience the following, it may be time to speak with your orthopedic specialist about a joint replacement as a treatment option for your knee, hip, or shoulder.

You Still Experience Pain While You are Resting

When living with chronic joint pain, it is normal to experience aches and pains with activity. If your joints are still causing you pain while in a relaxed position, it may be worth talking to your doctor about surgical treatment options.

Your Pain Prevents You From Performing Everyday Activities

If your pain is getting in the way of performing everyday activities like sitting down, standing up, or even walking up stairs—a joint replacement may be a viable treatment option. Stiff and weakened joints can make these otherwise simple tasks seem impossible.

Other Pain Management Techniques Aren’t Working

Though physical therapy and pain medications may have helped in the past, it is possible for your pain to worsen over time. If you suffer from severe joint pain that is no longer being helped by non-invasive management techniques, a replacement may be your next step toward living pain-free.

Contact Us for Orthopedic Care in Elgin, Geneva & Surrounding Areas

At Fox Valley Orthopedics, we can help you get back to a pain-free, comfortable life. If you have been dealing with aches and pains that have lasted for more than a week, don’t put off getting help another day. Call (630) 584-1400 today to schedule your appointment.