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Does Weather Affect Joint Pain?

At some point or another as a child, you've most likely heard an older adult tell you they knew a storm was coming when their knees started to hurt. Fast forward a couple of decades and maybe your own joints are starting to ache in the wintertime too, no longer laughing it off like when you were a kid. Barometric pressure or the pressure of the air can affect our joints; however, humidity, precipitation, and temperature are also at play with joint pain, so scientists are still unsure if there is any connection between them but doing many studies over years about this phenomenon nonetheless!

Type of weather

Given conflicting studies, the best way to predict your pain level and joint stiffness is by going how you feel and taking note of any patterns. Weather changes have shown a correlation with arthritis symptoms in some cases; others found that barometric pressure and humidity were more influential factors on people suffering from osteoarthritis of the hip. Regardless, if it's warm outside or there are high levels of rain clouds present where you live, keep an eye out for increased soreness around your joints as they may be vulnerable to moisture accumulation! There's been plenty of talk about how a change in weather (such as moving to a warmer climate) might improve conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia - but without scientific validation, these claims remain just as anecdotal as those who say it will make their pain worse.

How to Ease Weather-Related Joint Pain

You don’t have to pick up and move to a different climate. There’s plenty you can do at home to relieve joint pain.

  • When temperatures drop, try to keep yourself warm. Take warm showers or baths, dress in layers during the day (including gloves and warm socks), use an electric blanket at night, or crank up the heat inside your home.

  • Try a paraffin bath. It’s a small machine that melts paraffin wax. You dip your hands and feet in, and then you let the wax harden on your skin. Your body absorbs the heat, which may soothe achy joints. You can also use a heating pad on sore spots.

  • Ask your doctor about pain medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

  • Keep a healthy weight and stay active. Try exercise that’s gentle on the joints, like yoga or swimming. That will help you build up muscle and bone strength. If you go outside to exercise, limber up first with some gentle stretches.

  • Don’t strain your joints if you don’t have to. Let someone else lift those heavy boxes.

  • Make sure you take care of your health in general, like with good nutrition and getting enough sleep.

Although little is still known about the effects of weather patterns and pain, it can have an impact on your life. At Advanced Physical Medicine, our experienced physicians are here to help you live a pain-free life as safely as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our services.


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