Caring for Arthritic Feet in Winter

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Have you ever heard your grandparents say that they know it’s going to rain because their bones and joints are aching? It might seem silly, but it’s not always untrue. The weather can really affect how their joints feel, especially if they have arthritis. Cold or rainy days, which come with a change in barometric pressure, can allow room for increased inflammation (and therefore pain and stiffness) around the joints.

In order to prevent and reduce the effects of the colder weather on arthritis, try some of the following tips in addition to making some lifestyle changes for arthritic feet:

●  Layer up. If your body is warm, the cold has a lesser effect on your joints. Loose layers, gloves, hat, scarf, as well as thick socks and warm shoes, are helpful to keep the body warm. Additionally, thick socks and cushioned shoes can help to reduce the impact on the joints as you walk around.

●  Act up. Don’t let the cold keep you indoors and inactive. Instead, find ways to stay active indoors, and show winter who’s boss! Practicing low-impact exercises can help keep the joints lubricated, thereby reducing stiffness and pain. Try exercises such as walking in place, practicing yoga, calisthenics, or joining an indoor gym, perhaps with indoor swimming pools. Move your feet and ankles as you sit in front of the TV.

●  Drink up. No, not alcohol, which can inflame your arthritis. Instead, drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. The winter weather is usually drier so your body can be dehydrated much more easily. Fluids help increase circulation to reduce inflammation in the joints.

●  Warm up. Need another excuse to take a warm bath? With Epsom salts and some essential oils? Relieve arthritic pain in the winter by drawing a nice bath and relaxing. Your joints will thank you and you’ll have some time for peace and quiet. Don’t have time for a full bath? How about a foot soak for your achy feet? You can watch your favorite shows while your feet indulge and rest.

For further comfort during the winter months, you might want to consider custom orthotic shoes. If your feet seem to get achier in the cold, you may need shoes with more cushion and support. Make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Our foot doctors can perform thorough assessments of your feet at our Jonesboro, AR office to treat your feet and keep them free from arthritic pain!