Winter offers a myriad of exciting outdoor sports and enjoyments for family and friends to have fun together. Unfortunately for some people, especially those over the age of 60, winter brings nothing but leg pains and body aches. As the temperature dips below zero, their agony begins to worsen. In a lot of cases leg pains in the elderly are accompanied by joint pains and swelling in the ankles and calves.
But why do people’s legs hurt more during winter? Is it the sudden change in temperature? Here are some of the reasons why your leg pains are more pronounced during winter plus five remedies and tips to make them go away so you too can enjoy the winter outdoors with your kids and loved ones.
The condition can cause swelling of the joints, especially in the knee and ankle area. The pain caused by rheumatism or arthritis can radiate towards the legs and feet. The reason why the condition worsens during winter is the sudden drop in the temperature and drastic change in atmospheric pressure exert a direct influence on the tissues surrounding joints causing them to swell.
One of the most effective remedies is to bundle yourself up in winter clothing. While the pain may not necessarily go away instantly, warm clothing has a calming effect on joint swelling, helping you to find relief even in severe winters.
Keep your body hydrated. The importance of drinking plenty of water in winter cannot be overstated. Water helps to lubricate your joints and keeps your muscle nerves firing properly, preventing cramps and stiffness of leg muscles.
2. Leg Cramps and Spasms
In winter you lose body heat fast. This rapid loss of heat will force your muscles to go into spasms that can lead to painful cramps. Warm up your muscles before stepping outdoors to help your muscles deal with the sudden drop in temperature.
Do 20 sets of simple squats, 20 sets of hamstring stretches, and then jog in place for about 5 minutes. This should give your body ample warm-up so you can enjoy outdoor winter activities without experiencing leg pains.
Sciatica is another condition that tends to worsen when temperature drops to freezing. The ironic thing about this condition is it makes you want to just curl up when it strikes. However, the best remedy for sciatica is to keep active even in freezing temperature.
Do some mild to moderate lower back stretches. Watch your posture and keep your spine straight when walking or shoveling snow. Do warm-ups before doing outdoor activities. By keeping yourself active during the winter months, you’ll notice less and less pain brought on by this condition.
The nagging leg pains associated with this condition can keep sufferers from getting restful sleep during winter. What’s worse is that the pain can radiate towards adjacent parts of the body. Many sufferers resign to the pain and accept it as part of growing old. This is sad because fibromyalgia is treatable.
Stay warm and do some mild exercises to help relieve stress. Do not exercise before bedtime to minimize sleep disruption. Also avoid watching TV or operating electronic gadgets one hour before bedtime. Try to get a good night’s sleep.
Talk to your doctor if symptoms persist. He can prescribe medications to relieve some of the pain and to help you sleep better.
Just because winter is cold doesn’t mean your body needs less water. When you take very little water during cold months you are hampering your body’s ability to regulate muscular contractions. Your cold, stiff, water-deprived muscles will become even tighter, resulting in cramps and muscular spasms.
If you are experiencing leg cramps in winter, one of the things you can do is drink more water to keep your body and muscles well-hydrated. Drinking mild tea or warm orange juice is a great way to keep leg cramps and spasms at bay.
Bonus Tip: Avoid Overexertion
Shoveling snow and clearing the pathway during winter can lead to overexertion. Take it in a stride and try to keep a good posture when performing tasks like this. Leg pains in winter can be avoided if you listen to what your body is telling you. When you feel your leg muscles stiffen, it means you need to get indoors and get warm.
Do some moderate calisthenics, and give your legs a massage before going outside again. If you don’t know how to massage your legs, don’t worry. Fortunately, you can still give yourself a great leg massage by using a device called Verseo Air Leg Massager.
The Verseo Air Leg Massager operates by blowing and letting out air, alternately inflating and deflating a cuff wrapped around your leg, simulating a soothing and rejuvenating massage action. The device is lightweight, affordable, uses two AA batteries and easy enough to use anytime anywhere. We invite you to visit your doctor if leg fatigue, discomfort or pain persists. Take care and have a great day.