• Chris Purcell

Winter aches and pains

As physiotherapists, once the temperature drops we tend to see an increase in patients complaining of joint pain and stiffness. This is largely due to the the fact that we generally exercise less during the winter months and we sleep more. The days are shorter and to be honest it is just less inviting to get out of bed. It is also flu season which can mean missed sessions due to illness. Less exercise and activity means we get stiffer and in many cases sorer.

Movement, exercise and stretching are the keys to keeping your stiffness at bay. The problem with stiffness is that it will often then result in pain and or injury. For example, a stiff joint in the neck will cause neck pain and headaches as well as lack of movement. You might notice difficulty turning your neck while driving the car. This is a warning sign that your joints are getting stiff.

So here are my tips to beat joint stiffness and beat the Winter Aches and Pains

1. Keep your stretching routine going.

We are often good at stretching pre and post our exercise sessions. If you are missing sessions due to the cold or illness try to at least keep your stretches going. These can be done indoors and there is no need to take off the tracksuit.

2. Use heat packs

Heat packs not only feel good but can reduce joint pain and muscular stiffness. 3. Be proactive and use physiotherapy and massive services at the first signs of feeling stiff.

Having early treatment on stiff joints and tight muscles should mean that they do not become painful. This will keep you moving well and feeling great.

4. Try not to hibernate

Winter is a great time to watch more Netflix and read books while snuggled up on the couch. I get it, but try to keep to your normal exercise routine as much as you can. Your body will thank you for it.

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