Joint pain is something that affects millions of people all over the world, and for many of them, relief of any kind is a blessing.
From stiff fingers to inflamed knees to swollen elbows, joint pain can take hold almost anywhere on the body, and one factor that usually makes it worse is the cold. With Fall coming right around the corner, let’s take a look at why cooler temperatures worsen joint pain and what you can do to ease your suffering.
Why Does the Cold Affect Your Joints?
Ironically, while almost everyone who experiences joint pain has reported that their pain worsens during changes in temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity levels, experts still haven’t found a definitive answer regarding why. However, there are several theories that have weight.
The main hypothesis states that as the barometric pressure drops when the weather cools down, the tendons, muscles, and tissues around your joints expand, stiffening them and increasing friction during movement. Others believe that the cold slows the blood and decreases circulation, leading to a tightening around the knees, wrists, and fingers.
A few scientists don’t believe that there is a connection between cold weather and joint pain at all and that the symptoms are psychosomatic. Though considering the number of people who claim to feel worse as the temperature drops, the previous suggestion has a lot of contradictory evidence to account for. Either way, whatever is causing you pain must be addressed, in the cold and heat alike.
How You Can Lessen the Pain
While theories surrounding Fall weather affecting the joints vary greatly, ways to decrease joint pain vary less. Studies show that one thing you can do for your joints is to soak them in a warm bath or a hot tub to relax the body. Another suggestion is to watch what you eat, as high-sodium foods dehydrate the body and raise blood pressure. It’s also important to walk around and do some easy exercises, although make sure that you’re not straining your body. Finally, dress warmly during the Fall and try not to stay outside in the cold for longer than you need to.
Joint pain can be the difference between loving your day and struggling to get through it. It is a difficulty all year long, and with Autumn closing in, it certainly won’t get easier. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to stay healthy and happy no matter what the weather is outside. Contact us today for more information!