Understanding the Connection Between Joint Pain and Weather
You may have noticed a senior relative with arthritis complain about joint pain flare-ups when the weather changes. Perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself. However, medical research on the subject hasn’t yet provided evidence for a definitive link between joint pain and the weather. This may be due to the fact that it is difficult to account for all the different variables that come with measuring weather changes. There is barometric pressure, precipitation, humidity, and temperature to account for; which of these variables affects joint pain, is still not known.
What the Research Says about Weather and Joint Pain
It’s important to understand that while studies have yet been unable to determine the link between weather and joint pain may be due to the fact that the studies haven’t been as intensive as they should be. Many studies simply involved surveys with small samples of participants.
According to Harvard Medical School, rain—commonly considered the cause—may not be what causes joint pain. What really may be the culprit is barometric pressure, humidity, or weather changes. However, they concede that a definitive link has not yet been determined.
On the other hand, a 15-month long study conducted by University of Manchester-based researchers with more than 13,000 participants with chronic pain, found that days with lower pressure, stronger winds, and higher humidity are more strongly associated with high pain. The UK-based participants’ long-term health conditions included fibromyalgia and arthritis.
How to Manage Weather-Related Joint Pain
When the weather gets colder, you should take steps to keep warm. Dress in layers (including warm socks and gloves), keep the indoor heater on high, take warm showers, and try to stay under blankets.
Use pain medication and joint pain relief supplements. Consult your doctor about this.
Maintain a healthy body weight and stay active with light exercise like swimming or yoga. They will keep your joints from stiffening and build muscle and bone strength.
Avoid lifting heavy objects so as to not strain your joints. Sleep well and maintain a healthy diet.
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***Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general informational purposes only. Don’t delay seeking professional medical advice based on the information accessed on this website.