In addition to cloudy skies, dropping temperatures and whipping winds, you can also add joint pain to the list of signs that a storm is brewing.
People with arthritis often experience joint pain when the weather is about to change, and some scientists say it’s because of shifts in barometric pressure. Any change in barometric pressure, or the weight of the air pressing against the earth’s surface, can trigger nerve endings in joints, causing stiffness.
Although the jury is still out on whether barometric pressure always affects arthritis sufferers, most experts support the correlation between barometric pressure and weather-related joint pain. In fact, research shows that for every 10-degree drop in temperature, there’s an incremental increase in arthritis pain.
So if you have arthritis, what can you do to prevent or lessen weather-related joint pain?
While some might think it’s a good idea to move to a more temperate climate, scientists have observed just as many complaints of pain from people in temperate climates than from people living elsewhere.
Preventing the pain may not always be possible, but finding relief is. Here are some ways to alleviate joint pain caused by weather shifts:
Keep moving. Before you start your day, get moving and warm up your joints to break up the stiffness.
Stay warm. Dress in layers and keep your home and vehicle heated in cold weather. Place a heating pad on painful joints to soothe them.
Stay positive. The power of positive thinking and taking good care of yourself goes a long way. Get a good night’s sleep, pace yourself and find things to keep your mind occupied and off the pain.
Stop the swelling. If your hands are affected by swelling, try wearing Spandex gloves at night to keep fluid out of your joints.
Remember: The pain is temporary. Your body will adjust to changes in the atmosphere, and your pain will ease. It just takes time.
If you are experiencing signs of arthritis or have been diagnosed with arthritis, contact Dr. Kushwaha today to learn more about your treatment options.