As winter continues to embrace us, singlets and thongs are replaced with jackets and slippers. There’s a dense fog settling in through town and you’re dreading the cold commute into work- that icy steering wheel! The sudden cold snap can leave lots of us with joint aches and pains, slowing us down. Luckily there are lots of tricks of the trade to keeping your hands toasty warm and ready to brave the elements. 

Whether you work outdoors, have poor circulation or generally don’t want to let the cold prevent you from enjoying the outdoors, these simple strategies can help to avoid a case of the frosty fingers.

1. Gloves. There are arthritis specific gloves, thermoskin gloves, fingerless or closed in gloves, battery operated gloves. The options are endless and we have a variety on hand at the clinic for sizing and purchase.

Sometimes it’s just not practical to wear gloves 24/7 and you need instant relief from the cold. Keep reading for more tips.

2. “Hot hands” are small, self-heating pouches about the size of your palm. These are great for netball or football training to have in your pockets when you’re off the court. The heat will reduce your pain and stiffness, also reducing risk of injury. Hot hands are available for toes as well! Alternatives are microwavable wheat bags and soaking your hands in warm water before heading outside.

3. Core body temperature. Keeping your core body temperature up will help to keep your hands warmer for longer. Simple things like layering clothing, drinking warm water and avoiding cold food straight out of the fridge will all assist.

4. Moisturising massage to increase blood flow. Simply massaging your hands with some moisturiser will assist to get the blood pumping, increasing your circulation and warming the fingers. Keeping hydrated will also aid circulation as it increases the volume of our blood pumping around the body and to the fingers.

Let us know of your winter warmer ideas, we would love to hear them!

If you have any concerns about cold and painful hands and  want some further support, feel free to give us a call at Riverina Hand Therapy.

Written by Caitlin Ring, Occupational Therapist, Riverina Hand Therapy