You could be forgiven you've put off venturing outside to curl up indoors with your favourite blanket and a nice, hot beverage so far this winter. After all, chilly and downright frigid temperatures are upon us! However, making sure you stay physically active even in cold weather is a better bet for your physical and mental health in both the short and long-term.
Engaging in regular physiotherapy during winter can also help you manage some pre-existing health conditions and prevent others. We'll discuss six reasons to maintain your physical therapy routine even during cold weather in this post.
1. Pair physiotherapy with winter activities to get greater enjoyment out of both.
While most of us understand that participating in winter sports and activities can help support both our physical and mental health, sometimes heading outside to engage in the activities we love can mean suffering from foot pain or other discomfort after skiing, snowboarding or ice skating.
Foot pain can also affect your general health. At Motion Works Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centre, we can perform a computerized gait analysis and have biomechanical devices called custom orthotics made to correct specific foot imbalances and reduce stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet and lower legs back into proper alignment.
Orthotics can help a range of conditions, from arthritis to low back pain, hip and knee pain, problems with running and recurrent sports injuries. Orthotics can also be combined with physiotherapy to encourage better foot and overall health.
2. Engage in physiotherapy to help deal with weather-related health issues.
Especially for patients with bone and joint-related problems, pain, fatigue, stiffness, swelling and other common symptoms can get more challenging to control during the winter. For those with rheumatoid arthritis, cervical spondylosis, joint pain and asthma, we may recommend one or a combination of physiotherapy exercises, including:
- Specific physiotherapy stretches and exercises to alleviate and manage pain, improve range of motion and optimize coordination and balance
- Massage therapy to help manage arthritis, improve circulation, manage pain and promote healing
- Breathing exercises for people with asthma or sensitive airways
3. Help reduce injuries with regular preventive physiotherapy sessions
Preparing for an upcoming sports season or aiming to stay active through the winter? Our physiotherapists can perform an assessment to determine your risk of injury.
With sports injury treatment and prevention physiothreapy, we can discuss previous injuries and training concerns, then develop a customized sport-specific exercise program to restore strength, proper muscle length/tension and proprioception to reduce risk of injury and help you improve your overall performance.
4. Manage common cold symptoms with physiotherapy.
Did you know chest physiotherapy has been shown to be effective in helping to remove mucus from your airway passages? In addition, physiotherapy and massage therapy can also help make those aches and pains that accompany many viruses more bearable and easier to manage. We may recommend massage therapy to help treat headaches and sinus pain. Our physiotherapists can also help you build a regular exercise program to help boost your immune system and cardiovascular health.
5. Integrate physiotherapy into your routine to help manage winter blues and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Lack of sunlight during winter, shorter days and snowy, grey skies can wreak havoc with our mental health. A combination of massage therapy, custom exercise regime and other aspects of physical therapy may help to prevent or treat symptoms of SAD.
6. Improve sleep by adding physiotherapy to your daily health routine.
Sleep plays a large role in our physical and mental health, and goes hand-in-hand with exercise to keep our brains and bodies in tip-top shape. Physical therapy can positively impact sleep, which can help you maintain a positive outlook during the winter season, and be rested, prepared and alert during your waking hours.