Now that the cold weather has arrived (for real) it’s common to hear people complain of joint pain flare ups. Does weather affect joint pain?
Several research studies have been done to try to prove the connection between cold, damp weather and an increase in joint pain. One theory is that people with joint pain may be sensitive to changes in barometric pressure.
It’s possible that when the cartilage that cushions the bones inside a joint is worn away, the nerves exposed might be sensitive to a change in pressure.
Another reason why people might feel more joint pain in cold, damp weather is due to the fact that low temperatures can make fluid in the joints thicker and therefore they feel stiffer. Unfortunately, the cold weather also keeps many of us indoors and less active which causes joints to get stiff and more painful.
Whether or not it’s true that climate changes do cause increased joint pain for some people, there are many things you can do if you feel like your pain is affected by the weather.When the weather is cold be sure to keep your body warm. Dress in layers for both inside and out. Be sure to wear warm gloves and socks when outside and use an electric blanket at night if your house is cold. When our bodies are cold it can heighten pain sensitivity, slow blood circulation and cause muscle spasms.
Sometimes a nice hot bath can do the trick for stiff joints. Exercise and stretching are always great for joint pain but it’s especially important to keep up with your daily exercise and stretching routine even when the weather gets bad.
If you are unsure what exercises and stretches are best for your sore, achy joints then reach out to us at A Body In Motion Rehab and one of our physiotherapists would be happy to get you started on a safe, effective home exercise routine.
Of course, we can’t forget about maintaining a healthy diet full of anti-inflammatory foods throughout the winter. Including foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, proteins and complex carbohydrates in your daily diet will help keep you and your joints healthy through the cold winter months.
Have questions? Please reach out!