Is the weather to blame for your joint pain?
Maybe you recall your aunt's predictions of bad weather stating that she could "feel it in her bones" or perhaps you notice how the weather impacts the way your own joints function.
Either way, you've likely wondered if the weather can truly impact joint and arthritis pain.
A study by Tufts University resulted in a connection between barometric pressure and/or temperature changes and joint pain. Usually, low barometric pressure means cloudy or rainy weather which is something we encounter quite a bit of in the springtime.
Before or during dreary weather, many people report joint pain in the form of hip or knee pain and stiffness. Low barometric pressure puts less atmospheric pressure on the body causing tissues to swell. As the tissues expand, they put more pressure on your joints. If your hip or knee joints are already sensitive, you are likely to experience additional pain.
Read more on this topic: 3 reasons you may be experiencing knee pain
You may have tried a wide variety of joint discomfort remedies. Many helpful treatments to ease symptoms include applying heat or cold. You may find relief from an ice pack, heating pad, or hot water bottle as all of these remedies can reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter medicines designed to reduce inflammation such as ibuprofen naproxen or aspirin may also relieve joint pain.
While it's generally unlikely to prevent all joint discomfort, it is possible to reduce the occurrence. Movement and exercise help prevent painful joints. The more flexible and strong your muscles the less likely they are to stiffen and weaken around the joints which will help minimize pain. When appropriate, weight loss can also help prevent painful joints. Excess weight puts undue strain on the joints which can lead to added pressure and pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation even a moderate weight loss of five to 10 pounds provides immediate and long-term health benefits.
Fluctuations in the body as a response to the changes in barometric pressure are usually common, however, this shouldn't interfere with living your best life.
If you're consistently feeling increased pain in your hips or knees as the weather changes or if discomfort and stiffness are affecting your daily life, preventing you from engaging in the activities you love, you should describe these experiences to your doctor. They will work with you to determine what pain relief option is best for you.