Do Weather Changes Really Cause Joint Pain?
October 4, 2018
Everyone has an aunt or uncle who can “feel” when the weather is about to change. In fact, more than two thirds of people who suffer from joint pain believe there is a connection between weather patterns and their creaky joints.
But is this just an old wives tale? Could so many people be mistaken about the cause of their joint pain?
Unfortunately, there’s no clear “yes-or-no” answer. Some studies show that certain people, especially those who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, respond to changes in the weather.
The most common theories argue that it’s not the rain or snow that causes the joint pain but the drop in barometric pressure that precedes “bad weather.” This is why the pain often starts before the first raindrop falls. Other theories suggest that humidity, temperature and rain also contribute to joint pain.
On the other hand, some studies suggest that weather changes don’t really cause joint pain; people are just likelier to attribute joint pain to the weather when it’s cold or damp. In fact, there are more doctor visits for bone and joint pain when it’s dry than when it’s wet.
Should You Move To A Warmer Place?
People who suffer from joint pain often dream of moving to a place that isn’t so cold, wet or snowy. While this sounds like the perfect solution, it’s good to get the facts before bubble wrapping your precious knick-knacks.
In one study, people in warmer states reported more sensitivity to weather changes than people in colder states. Therefore, if you have serious joint pain, chances are you’ll still experience some pain no matter where you live because your body is probably sensitive to weather changes no matter how mild.
Reduce Joint Pain In Autumn And Winter
Here are some ways to reduce weather-related joint pain without loading the U-haul and migrating south:
Stay warm. Layer up. And when the weather is cold, turn up the heat in the house, and warm up the car before getting in and driving off. Also, use a heating pad to increase blood flow and soothe your muscles and joints.
Stay Active. While staying warm under the cozy covers until the weather clears is a tempting thought, it’s possibly the worst thing you can do. Exercising prevents stiffness and reduces joint pain; you will feel better if you get up and get moving. Remember, you don’t have to brave the weather because you can exercise in your home.
Take supplements. Vitamins A, D, E and K are essential to joint health. Studies have shown a connection between vitamin D deficiency and arthritis. So consult with your doctor about taking these supplements.
The jury is still out on whether weather changes cause joint pain. For the time being, stay warm, exercise, and take your supplements to reduce any joint pain that you believe is caused by weather changes.