Surviving winter is about more than keeping warm taking extra pain medication with you live with RA, it is about being proactive and keeping ahead of the dangers and/or negative effects of winter.
Gloves vs. mittens.
gloves that are too tight as they can restrict blood circulation and
aggrevate Raynaud’s syndrome. Consider wearing mittens instead. Mittens
allow your fingers to warm each other and provide extra room in which
you can insert disposable “hand warmers” to keep arthritis joints warm
easily, people can become less active during the winter months;
however, immobility works against RA. Muscles contribute to the strength
and stability of joints and need regular activity to stay healthy.
Stretching and gentle range of motion exercises are essential. Exercise
can decrease RA pain by keeping joints and cartilage healthy, while also
helping to reduce symptoms of depression which are common during the
Heated pools are good.
Clear snow and ice.
prevent frost from forming on your car’s windows, spritz the outer
surface of the window with a mixture of 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water
once you are done with errands for the day. To make snow shoveling
easier, spray your shovel with aerosol cooking spray beforehand to help
the snow glide right off.
conditions of winter can be treacherous and we want to avoid falling to
reduce the risk of injury. Wear sturdy, supportive shoes with good
tread (sometimes tennis shoes are the worse shoes to wear on slippery
surfaces) and try to avoid walking on ice. You may be better off walking
through fresh snow, providing natural traction. Also, ask your doctor
about obtaining a ‘handicapped’ parking permit to allow you to park
closer to your destination and consider using a mobility aid such as a
walking cane for the added stability.
Rest up and relax.
Hydrate and moisturize.
plenty of water to keep your body hydrated from the inside out. Protect
your skin by keeping it moisturized. As a musician, it is important
that I keep my lips, part of my playing instrument, soft and supple by
locking in moisture. I like to use plain vaseline or A+D® Original
Ointment as Chapstick makes my lips feel dry.
Avoid getting sick.
Take medication as prescribed.
Have fun and watch for longer days to come.
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Surviving Winter with RA