How Massage Can Improve Winter Joint Pain
While the colder temperatures of the winter season can be wonderfully refreshing in some ways, they can also be problematic in other ways. Not the least of these is the concern of joint pain, which can make it difficult and uncomfortable to remain as active during the winter season as one may normally be at other times of the year.
The Cause of Winter Joint Pain
Winter joint pain can occur for anyone–even those individuals who do not suffer from pre-existing joint conditions and who do not normally experience joint discomfort. This is attributable to the lower temperature and lower barometric air pressure, which together can cause muscles to constrict and tighten while simultaneously causing the soft tissue around joints to expand. Soft tissue expansion causes pressure and pain that directly affects joint mobility, which in turn causes pain to radiate into constricted muscles. This can lead to cramps and spasms, which obviously generates, even more, discomfort and pain. Those individuals who already suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia or other joint issue or injury are more likely to feel even more discomfort as a result of winter weather.
How Massage Can Help
Considering that winter joint pain is largely caused by lower temperatures, it follows naturally that the more active and warm the joints are kept, the less painful they are. However, exercising while one is experiencing joint pain can be uncomfortable, difficult or even impossible. Some individuals seek to resolve this by moving indoors to someplace warm, like a gym, in order to warm their body, but this transition is not often enough to sufficiently warm all the muscles and joints in their body, and exercise may then only serve to exacerbate any discomfort or pain they are experiencing. This is where massage comes in.
Traditional massage techniques work to gently relax the muscles and joints of the body and improve overall circulation, which can help to ensure that the proper levels of blood and oxygen reach all the muscles and soft tissue areas. Additionally, massage can help to sufficiently lubricate the joints so that they are more comfortable to move in gentle exercises, such as swimming or yoga. This can allow the individual to experience the winter months with very little, or even no, joint discomfort or pain, while also giving them the opportunity to pamper themselves with a well-deserved trip to the spa.