The cold weather can do a number on your body — from drying out skin to causing seasonal allergy flare-ups. Another way the chilly temperature may cause discomfort is by increasing the level of pain in your joints. How? As the weather continues to cool, it can thicken lubricating fluid in joints, triggering aches and stiffness for 81 percent of women. And while NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen promise speedy relief, findings in The American Journal of Medicine suggest that when used regularly, they can actually increase joint breakdown and worsen pain over time. The good news is, you can manage that irritation using these four natural remedies for winter joint pain.
Sip this soother.
Drinking a cup of pomegranate juice daily cuts joint pain and stiffness by 62 percent within six weeks, say researchers reporting in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Credit goes to unique polyphenol compounds found in the juice, which tame inflammation while blunting the activity of pain-producing enzymes.
Rub on olive oil.
The secret to easing sore joints is as close as your kitchen pantry, a study in the Journal of Rheumatology reveals. Scientists found folks who massaged extra virgin olive oil into sore joints daily for four weeks experienced relief that was 63 percent greater than those who applied a prescription NSAID gel. Olive oil’s oleocanthal blocks the action of cellular proteins that transmit pain signals.
Reach for the sky.
Then bend from side to side, lift each knee, flex your ankles and repeat. A 2021 study found doing gentle stretches like these for 15 minutes three times a week cuts joint pain and improves mobility by 40 percent in 11 weeks. Stretching increases the production of lubricating synovial fluid, plus eases muscle tension that contributes to pain.
Taking 100 milligrams daily of boswellia serrata (derived from an ancient tree resin known as “true frankincense”) eases joint stiffness by 66 percent and curbs pain by 45 percent in 30 days — and relief sets in within five days, say scientists in the Journal of the American Nutrition Association. They note boswellic acid in the herb lowers levels of joint-damaging adhesion molecules. Try: NAOMI JointAdapt (Buy from NaomiW.com, $39).
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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