Aching joints can really put a dent in your activities, especially in cold weather. We don’t often use “cold” and “Florida” in the same sentence, but temperatures do drop over the winter months. The factor that may be responsible for your aching joints is not snow, cold or rain, but actually, a change in barometric pressure. Barometric pressure is the force exerted onto a surface by the weight of the atmosphere at any given point. As cold weather moves in, the barometric pressure begins to drop.
Cold weather does not affect everyone with arthritis, but if you experience aching joints as the mercury drops, try the remedies below.
Layer your clothing. Layers trap body heat and help you avoid rapid temperature transitions between indoors and out. Pay special attention to the head, hands and feet, as majority of heat is lost from the body’s extremities. Make good use of hats, scarves, and mittens or gloves.
Stay active with low-impact indoor activities like mall-walking, yoga, or dancing.
Stretch at least 10 minutes every morning to relax stiff muscles.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine as these products have a drying effect on cartilage. They also cause dehydration. Even mild dehydration can make you more sensitive to the pain of your aching joints.
Alternate heat therapy, such as warm baths and heating pads, which help to ease pain, with cold therapy, such as ice packs, to reduce swelling.
Get a massage. Research in the June 2015 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that getting an hour-long massage once a week for at least eight weeks reduces pain. This is most likely due to that fact that muscles surround your aching joints, which may be the source of some of the pain.
Are you curious about the claim that your aching joints can predict the weather? Try it with this Weather & Arthritis Index from the Arthritis Foundation.
For more information on this subject, call The Zehr Center for Orthopaedics at 239-596-0100 or visit www.zehrcenter.com. The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments, or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of a visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read on this topic.