Tips For Managing Psoriatic Arthritis In The Winter
Last updated: June 2023
Winter is here, y'all. Colder nights. Shorter days. Now that the holidays have passed, all we see feel is bitter cold and all we see is gray. Despite the impact winter has on my health, it remains one of my favorite seasons. I enjoy the fresh crisp air - it feels like I can breathe easier.
Psoriatic arthritis in the winter can be painful! What can we do?
Living with psoriatic arthritis - and the tightness that the winter season can bring, I have found different ways to make it easier to manage this condition during the colder months. Grab a warm beverage in your favorite mug, get cozy and let's get started.
Warm baths may just save you!
A soak in a warm-to-hot bath remains my favorite treatment of anything. There is no telling me twice that I need to soak my weary bones in a warm tub. I try to ensure it's for at least 20 minutes, and I usually add some Epsom salts for the soak; they are loaded with good minerals. I will even add some essential oil to make it luxurious.
Remember to moisturize after. This is something that I actively have to remind myself to do as my brain does not think that it is called for in the winter when in reality, moisturizing in the winter is when our skin needs it most! Try to reframe your moisturizing time as self-care.
Layering your clothing can keep your body warm and moisture in!
After a warm bath, I will start my dress with a cotton or thermal longs bottom and long-sleeve top. I prefer to use cotton as my psoriasis breaths easier with this fabric. That gets tucked into my socks and under whatever I wear that day.
If I can keep my body warm, it helps to manage my pain levels, and a warmer body definitely means a less painful body for me. I wear it close to my body and tuck everything in. This maintains a good body temperature and keeps excess pain from creeping in.
Our hands. Our painful, overused, and delicate hands. They are exposed to so much and so very vulnerable. Painful hands remain one of the most challenging things to recover from and treat.
Keep your hands warm. Fingerless gloves, compression gloves, and gloves that are touch-screen friendly can help. The compression gloves remain my favorite. They help eliminate swelling and reduce inflammation. When we use our hands so much, this can really help!
Watch where you are walking! Ice can sneak up on you!
Good shoes may save you in the winter. Take heed and be careful when walking around outside, especially in snowy and icy climates. Walk on clear sidewalks and consider keeping a trekking pole nearby. You can find one that folds up, and it just might save you when you catch a gnarly patch of ice.
Falling when you live with psoriatic arthritis can be detrimentally painful. It can invoke a flare that can put us out for days. Our body doesn't recover as quickly as others, which can put us in a tight spot.
Keep your body moving
Exercising in the winter isn't easy. For me, I have to keep my body moving and stay active. I can let my joints stay stagnant for too long, or I resemble the tin man. Avoiding the outdoors during the colder months makes this difficult.
This calls for more simple stretches and body weight movements at home. It keeps my blood moving and my joints loose. You hold the key to keeping your mobility and range of motion where it needs to be. Staying active can also keep the endorphins flowing, which are helpful in combatting pain levels.
Stay warm and look after yourself; rest when you need to, and when you can.
This or That
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