Winter wellness: How physiotherapy can keep you moving and feeling great

December 6, 2023

The days are growing shorter and the temperature’s dropping. Winter’s on the way and brings a unique set of challenges for our health and wellbeing. And we all know that the cold weather combined with reduced physical activity and slippery surfaces can lead to aches, pains, and an increased risk of injuries. 

But let’s not let winter get the best of you! 

Did you know that physiotherapy is your year-round partner in maintaining health and mobility? In this article, we’ll explore how physio can help you stay active, pain-free, and ready to enjoy the best bits of the winter season.

  1. Physio to help you prevent winter-related injuries 

Winter injuries are common! Physio can help you not only recover, but actually prevent them too. Here’s how… 

Slips and falls: Icy pavements and slippery driveways can result in painful falls. Your physiotherapist can help you improve your balance, strength, and coordination, reducing the risk of slips and falls.

Winter sports injuries: Do you enjoy winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating? As fun as these activities can be, they do come with a risk of injury, including fractures, sprains, dislocations, and head injuries. Not only can physio help you to recover from most of these kinds of issues, but key strengthening exercises can actually help you to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Lack of movement: At this time of year, it’s normal to be less inclined to get out and about. But the downside is that people tend to move less in the winter which is never good if you want to keep your muscles and joints in good condition. A physio can provide you with an exercise plan to keep you moving – even from the comfort (and warmth) of your own home.

Overexertion: At the other end of the scale, engaging in physically demanding winter activities, like moving snow, de-icing cars, or even excessive outdoor play, can actually lead to overexertion causing muscle strains and other injuries. The repetitive nature of outdoor winter chores and activities can strain your back and shoulders. Physiotherapy can teach you proper body mechanics and exercises to prevent injuries while carrying out these kinds of tasks.

2. Physio for managing seasonal aches and pains

Do you ever feel like things hurt more in the winter? Well, it’s not just your imagination. According to Dr John Mcbeth, pain expert and researcher at Manchester University, “there are several biological reasons that may underpin why pain feels more intense in the wintertime.” We won’t go into them all here. But here’s what you can do to manage some of the most common winter-related aches and pains.

Cold-induced muscle stiffness: Cold weather can cause muscle stiffness and reduce joint mobility. Your physiotherapist can design warm-up routines and stretching exercises to keep your muscles limber.

Arthritic pain: Arthritis pain often worsens in the winter. Physiotherapy can offer pain management techniques and tailored exercises to improve joint function and reduce discomfort.

3. Physio for maintaining physical activity

The colder season’s no excuse to quit moving. If you work with a physio they can advise on the following:

Indoor workouts: If outdoor activities are limited, your physiotherapist can recommend indoor exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home. These workouts help maintain your fitness levels during the winter months.

Winter sports preparation: For those who enjoy winter sports like skiing or ice skating, physiotherapy can help you prepare and condition your body to reduce the risk of sports-related injuries.

4. Physio for boosting your immune system

Did you know physio can help strengthen your immune system? Here’s how…

Exercise and Immunity: Regular physical activity can boost your immune system, helping your body fend off common winter illnesses. Your physiotherapist can help you design a safe and effective exercise plan.

5. Physio for taking care of mental health and wellbeing

According to studies the seasons can actually affect our mental health and wellbeing. 

Winter Blues: The winter season can impact your mood and overall well-being. Physiotherapists can recommend exercises and activities that release endorphins, helping to combat the winter blues.

Physiotherapy is a valuable resource in maintaining your health during the winter. The cooler months don’t have to be a period of discomfort and inactivity. Embrace the season with the support of physiotherapy, and you’ll be better equipped to enjoy all the beauty and activities winter has to offer. Call us at W5Physio to book an appointment with a physio who will provide a personalised care plan to address your unique needs and goals this winter.

So, stay warm, stay active, and stay well this winter season with the help of W5Contact us for an appointment and/or advice on staying well in the winter.

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