Walking during winter season


I am 30 years old and I have been a gymnast for many years of my life. I was diagnosed with ankle osteoarthritis three years ago, and I was doing great. It didn't bother me as much as I expected. I am very responsible with my physical therapy, and turmeric also seems to help. I also drink Piascledine and collagen. I do not remember the last time I drank NSAIDs! I was dealing with depressive thoughts after one orthopedist told me that in a few years' time I will undergo arthrodesis surgery because there was nothing I could do. I do not understand my he said that.. because it didn't help me at all. I do not remember the last time I cried so much. Last week a lot of snow came, and according to the weather forecast, snow is expected to last for a very long time. So I went out on my daily walk, and I felt pain in my ankle because it was twisting on ice and snow-covered sidewalks and I could not make it to walk normally, it bothered me so much I had to stop my walk and go home. I am worried that during this winter season my ankle joint will deteriorate faster. Could it possibly happen? During summer I was easily able to walk 10k+ steps a day! Since I do not own a car I have to walk everywhere and not every sidewalk is walkable enough, because even 3cm of snow is enough for my ankle to twist. Should I be worried, or I just have to adjust to this season and do some warmups? Could ankle orthosis help? Does pain during and after walk means that there is a structural damage? Since I have not booked my PT appointment until Christmas time I have no one to ask this. It honestly terrifies me so much. 

With greetings from nothern Europe!


  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 872

    Hello @ZaneLau and welcome to the community. We are a friendly and supportive group and I hope that that will be your experience as well.

    I understand that you have arthritis in your ankle and it is causing you a lot of pain. I am sure that our Helpline team can provide you with some good advice, but in the meantime have a look around the website and search facility. To help I've put in a couple of links below.

    Take care in the snow and please do keep posting and let us know how you getting on.

    With very best wishes

    Peter (moderator)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 872

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Hello ZaneLau

    Thank you for your posting on the forum. I am sorry to hear that you have osteoarthritis of the ankle and have found walking difficult and painful due to walking in the snow. Also, that over time your condition has had such an impact that you have had depressive thoughts and that you are worried and terrified about the impact on your ankle.


    I see that Peter has responded and provided some useful links about Osteoarthritis of the ankle and foot and also ankle pain that has information about managing this condition. Also, there is information in the emotional wellbeing link about the impact of having arthritis on our feelings. It is normal to be worried and concerned about the future when you have arthritis and possibly speaking to your doctor about support, such as counselling may be something you would like to consider.

    I see that you are posting from Northern Europe and I just wanted to point out that our information is about treatment and services in the UK.


    I see that you do not have a physiotherapist appointment until Christmas. I wonder if it is possible for you to contact them prior to this appointment so that they can provide you with advice and guidance about the issues you are having with walking and for further exercises that may help your condition. You may also get advice from your health care professional who manages your care such as your doctor.


    We are not able to advise if an ankle orthosis would be appropriate for you as this would depend on your individual condition. Advice from a podiatrist may be helpful, they can provide advice about suitable footwear.  An orthotist is the health professional who specialises in the use of devices (orthoses) to support joints such as special shoes or insoles, correct deformities and reduce pain and strain when the affected joints are being used in everyday life. Some orthosis are available ready made but you would need to talk to your physiotherapist or an occupational therapist who can advice on what or if these would be suitable for you. Below is a link to our information on orthotists and podiatrists.






    I hope that this information is helpful. If at any point you would like to talk things through informally and in confidence about your arthritis, you are welcome to call our Helpline on 0800 520 0520 weekdays 9am – 6pm.

    Best Wishes


    Helpline Advisor