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Some studies show a link between the cold weather and arthritis pain. It’s possible that changes in barometric pressure worsen knee pain, while the colder temperatures can cause the joint fluid to change in thickness. Whatever the scientific reasons are behind joint pain worsening during the winter months, the important thing is that you know how to cope with the changes.

Here are some helpful tips for reducing joint pain during the late fall and winter months. Remember, preventative measures are the best ways to manage pain!

Wear Layers

One study found that as the temperatures decrease, knee pain increases. If you plan on going outdoors to run errands or exercise, be sure to dress in layers. Otherwise, you run the risk of worsening joint stiffness and pain, which can be hard to get rid of once it starts.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a diet rich in minerals and vitamins keeps your blood sugar and energy levels in check. The right foods also reduce inflammation and joint pain, so focus on adding more dark, leafy greens, high fiber foods and high protein foods to your diet. Healthy fats found in nuts, oils and seeds are also helpful in preventing inflammation.

Get More Vitamin D

When it’s cloudy for several days in a row, it may seem difficult to get the vitamin D you need. Give yourself a boost with foods that are high in vitamin D such as fatty fish, avocados and fortified foods like cereals. Also talk to your doctor about possibly adding vitamin D drops, pills or chews to supplement what you’re not getting. This bone-building nutrient is good for overall health and can prevent joint pain.

Apply Heat

For immediate relief, apply heat to sore joints. A warm bubble bath at night can do wonders for relaxing stiff joints and decreasing stress levels. In the morning, refresh your body with a warm shower. Talk to your doctor about adding essential oils to your routine for an added boost. A heating pad can also be helpful. However, too much heat can cause inflammation, so be careful not to use heat excessively.

Living with arthritis isn’t always easy, especially during the wintertime. By taking the appropriate steps to prevent stiffness and inflammation, you can fight off some of the pain and enjoy a more comfortable holiday season.