If you are an avid jogger, then you know that it is not uncommon to suffer from joint pain during cold months. Generalized joint pain located in the knees frequently occurs in winter runners. The hips and ankles may also begin to ache when the weather starts to get colder.
What Causes Winter Runners to Suffer From Joint Pain?
The joint discomfort is believed to occur as a result of the body pulling blood away from the joints and pushing it towards the body’s vital organs such as the heart and lungs for added cold protection. When this blood transition occurs, the vessels in the arms and legs start to constrict and limit blood flow. As a result of reduced blood flow, the joints begin to feel pain. Other theories focus on the change in barometric pressure causing joint inflammation.
How to Reduce Joint Pain During the Winter Months
Yes, you are probably anxious to start your winter jog, but don’t let your exuberance cause you to sustain a joint or muscle injury. It is imperative that you prepare your body before heading out for a run.
Here are four ways that winter runners can combat joint pain:
- Warm-Up Routine: Taking the time to warm up before jogging or exercising gives your muscles time to stretch and adjust. The warm-up routine increases your body’s temperature. Your heart rate will also increase slowly to allow oxygen-rich blood to flow to your joints and muscles. Tissue that has been warmed slowly becomes more flexible which reduces the likelihood of sustaining an injury.
- Don’t Overdo It: While jogging, if you start to feel pain, then you need to take a break or stop. You should never overdo any exercise or push yourself past your endurance level. Straining the body places you at an increased risk of suffering an injury.
- Chiropractic Adjustments: If you suffer from chronic joint pain during the winter months then you may want to consider scheduling chiropractic adjustments to stay limber and keep your joints lubricated.
- Dress Warm: Yes, you might be working up a sweat jogging, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid dressing warmly. You will want to keep your extremities warm to protect them from the cold and reduce joint pain. Keeping the body warm and dry is another step towards combatting joint pain if you are running in the cold.
What is the RICE Treatment Method?
If you should sustain a sprain or strain, then you will want to use the RICE treatment method which includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. RICE Is a self-care technique that eases the pain, reduces swelling, and speeds healing. Minor injuries can be treated at home using RICE, or the method can help sustain you until you seek the help of a chiropractor or a physician.
At Harlan Chiropractic, we know that winter runners are dedicated to their sport and workout routine. However, during the cold months, a jogger may experience minor to severe joint pain. If you are experiencing any joint discomfort or you want to maintain your joints for your favored sport, then please schedule a consultation and discuss the many ways we can help you.