With the recent cold weather I’m hearing from a lot of patients that their pain levels are increased, so I’d like to share some tips on keeping your pain levels down during the cold winter months. Cindy from http://www.2sistersgiftsgalore.com/main.sc has asked me to share this post on her blog https://cmatusky.wordpress.com/ so you will see some plugs for her fabulous products. Enjoy!
1. It is very important to be comfortable & warm falling asleep. Our bodies need a cooler room temperature for ideal sleep, but that doesn’t mean we need an icy cold bed, so bring a hot water bottle or lavender hot pack to bed with you. Apply a warming pain cream or liniment to sore muscles to relax them for sleep (but don’t put a hot pack over topical pain products, the combo can irritate or even burn your skin). http://www.2sistersgiftsgalore.com/Lavender-Buddy-Bag-and-Herbal-Liniment-17002.htm If you have neck pain try wearing a scarf or cowl when you sleep to keep your neck warm. Convince your pet to lay on your bed to keep you extra warm (unless you’re allergic to Fido). Be careful with heating pads and electric blankets – turn them off before sleep to protect yourself from burns, fire hazard, and excess exposure to electromagnetic fields.
2. It’s also important to be cozy & warm when you get out of bed in the morning, especially if you tend to have joint stiffness when you wake up. Set your thermostat so the heater comes on about an hour before you wake up. Or get a portable remote control space heater that you can turn on from across the room as soon as you open your eyes. While still in your warm bed reapply your pain cream or liniment and spend a few minutes doing gentle range of motion exercises to warm up feet, ankles, and spine before you take your first steps. Here’s a nifty trick I learned from a patient: tuck a sweater/scarf/fuzzy robe or other warmie under the covers by your feet the night before, and when you wake up it will be cozy warm and you can put it on while you’re still in bed!
3. Keep your hands, feet, head, ears and neck warm at all times. Even the tiniest chill on face or neck can activate myofascial trigger points, so bundle up to prevent them, and apply heat to your neck immediately if you do get chilled. Keep extra hats/mittens/fingerless gloves/scarves/cowls/etc. throughout your home and in your car. (Cindy’s fibro socks are great for keeping your feet warm when you’re lounging around the house!) http://www.2sistersgiftsgalore.com/100-Cotton-Dyed-Tube-Socks-53037.htm
4. It’s so important to get outside every day during the winter to keep up on exercise and absorb sunlight for synthesizing Vitamin D. A great tool to help stay warm during outside activity in extra cold weather is to put something warm in your pockets or mittens. Instant hand warmers are great for this, and it’s a good idea to keep some stashed at home and in the glove box of your car for power outages, outdoor exercise, and other chilly moments. Try putting them in mittens, socks, and pockets, or even tuck them in your scarf. Pocket-sized re-heatable rice packs work great also. If you have the right cold weather gear there’s no excuse not to get outside every day, rain or shine, and you can reward yourself with a nice epsom salt bath when you get home!
I hope these tips are helpful, and I’d love to hear any other ideas folks have come up with to fight winter pain flares. Stay warm everyone!
Medea Karr FNP