6 Ways Winter Affects Your Bone Health

Health Articles

Dec 21, 2023


As Winter arrives in Hampton Roads, it's important to be mindful of the seasonal changes that can impact your orthopaedic health. While this area can be hit or miss for winter weather, we deal with snow, ice, and cold air. So here are some things you should be careful of as Winter arrives. 

  1. Increased risk of falls on ice and snow. Any fall can lead to bone fractures, tendon or ligament sprains and tears, and other orthopaedic injuries. Ice is no joke, so take care when walking in icy conditions, or better yet, try to stay indoors. 
  2. Some may experience more stiffness and pain with arthritis or injuries as cold air and low humidity indoors. If you're suffering from tight and sore joints, heat may help, but severe pain calls for an ice pack and an anti-inflammatory. It would help if you also moved around - even walking around your kitchen island and helping with things.  
  3. Less sun exposure and being inside means less natural vitamin D production, critical to absorbing bone-supporting calcium. Consider taking a vitamin D supplement. 
  4. Our natural human circadian rhythms are altered thanks to shorter days and longer nights. This change can exacerbate pain symptoms and some health conditions. 
  5. Winter tasks like shoveling snow and scraping car windows can strain muscles and joints, aggravating existing orthopaedic problems.
  6. Because it's too cold outside, you may be less active during winter months, which can weaken bone density and joint health and compromise your balance and coordination. Try enjoying some indoor exercise; there are many workouts you can do at home with minimal equipment. 


While not usually severe, these seasonal impacts, on top of underlying orthopedic conditions, can affect the quality of life for certain patients. We encourage you to make an appointment with one of our orthopaedic or podiatry specialists to ensure a safe and healthy winter for your bones and muscles. 


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