The dog days of summer are beginning to wane, fading into the bright colors and cooler temperatures of the fall. Some celebrate this annual passage of heat while others yearn for the endless summer. For many of us with arthritis pain, however, one thought comes top of mind — will the changing season worsen my joint pain and inflammation, and what can be done about it?
Fellow Health Warriors, we’re here with some tips on how to combat arthritis in autumn. The good news is that if you’re already keen on taking care of yourself, you may be following some of these tips already. The rest are simple add-ons you can make to help keep yourself feeling and moving great even as the weather begins to shift. After all, it’s leaf-peeping season, and you’ve got ground to cover.
Stay warm and dry
For many with rheumatoid arthritis, it’s the temperature changes that trigger a flare-up. Cold and/or damp weather patterns moving in can affect arthritis. Autumn is a unique time of year for this because different locations experience the season in such a different way. No matter where you are, stay warm and dry as much as possible to minimize excess joint pain.
If you live somewhere that experiences all four seasons to a higher degree, one of the best things you can do for arthritis coming into autumn is to try to avoid major temperature and barometric pressure fluctuations as best you can. Keeping your home at a consistent temperature is a great way to do this, and while this won’t offset all impacts of incoming weather and season changes, it can serve as a layer of protection against them.
Dress appropriately for the season and don’t forget to channel your inner-Seattleite (we mean, of course, to always have a rain jacket or additional layer that you can throw on if necessary). One thing we’ve found that really helps is to keep a pair of gloves handy, particularly in the car or wherever you store your house keys. That way, you’ll have them on you whenever you leave the house. The trick is to actually wear the gloves, even when it may not seem necessary, in order to avoid triggering pain in the fingers or wrists — even your elbows can benefit from covering up the hands.
A sedentary lifestyle, as tempting as it might be, is among the easiest ways to slip into unnecessary joint pain and inflammation. As the season changes, maintain your regular routine including exercise and walking, to the point that you can still tolerate it.
Being active keeps your joints limber and your blood flowing, and can even help you to maintain a consistent weight — all factors that can reduce arthritic pain by keeping a consistent amount of pressure and relief on your joints.
See our blog for tips on exercising with arthritis.
Eat seasonally and healthy
When was the last time you thought, “I can’t wait to whip up some pattypan squash tonight!”?
It might not hurt to say that out loud a few times. Eating in-season ensures you’re getting the most benefit from your veggies because their nutrients are primed and maximized. Pattypan, for example, is high in Provitamin-A, which helps tissue health and immunity, among other things.
Cook up a pattypan in a pasta recipe high in extra virgin olive oil, potentially with a lean filet of salmon on top, and you have yourself a meal that’s set to deliver a firm smack to your joint inflammation — while being quite delicious to boot.
In general, staying on top of your diet helps your body adjust to the changing season and keeps your meals fresh and diverse. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with tossing a pumpkin spiced latte in there for good measure.
But keep yourself pampered
If you’ve dealt with arthritis pain for a long time, you’re likely no stranger to the common household heating pad. Autumn is a good time of year to make this a permanent staple on your living room couch. Regularly using the heating pad on the parts of your body that are sore or aching can help to make the pain more manageable.
This is particularly true the further north you are, as there is likely to be more of a significant daily shift in temperature, and nights tend to significantly cool off this time of year. If possible, opt for a large-size heating pad or consider buying a second one and double the impact.
Use what you can
Topical oils and lotions can come in extra-handy during fall, if you happen to live in a place where they are available. Rubbing a bit of a joint gel on your most impacted joints in the evening and/or before leaving home can help keep pain at a minimum. GLX3 will be releasing a Joint Gel that gives you a rub-on treatment for joint pain and inflammation soon — STAY TUNED!
CBD lotions can also help, though It’s important to remember that CBD isn’t an all-encompassing solution. Because its commercialization is relatively new, many people and practitioners tend to put an overarching emphasis on the power of CBD — it’s a tool, not a magic wand.
Channel your Hakalife Warrior strength by and step up the benefit of any of these hacks with an omega-3 supplement. GLX3 is specifically built to help you counteract joint pain and inflammation in Autumn and throughout the year by delivering a power trio of ingredients — New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil, New Zealand olive oil, and Vitamin E oil, working in harmony to help you fight arthritis and get back to doing what you love.
Arthritis is a journey, and like any journey, it has its ups and downs. But with the right tools and support, you can navigate the challenges and come out stronger on the other side.
– Dr. Catherine Backman