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Cold weather and joint pain - Happy older woman standing under umbrella on rainy night in the city

 

Recent studies have proven bad weather can make our joints more painful.

Changes in barometric pressure, temperature, and even rain can, not only cause joint pain but also have further impact on our bodies.

Scientists from the University of Manchester found arthritis sufferers were 20% more likely to suffer pain on days that are humid and windy with low atmospheric pressure than on average weather days.

The study was also conducted on suffers of fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and migraines.

 

Why does the cold affect my joints?

Our surrounding temperatures cause reactions within the different enzymes flowing through our body. Too hot and our enzymes will lose their function, causing hyperthermia. Too cold, the enzymes will slow right down to a point they become ineffective, causing hypothermia.
This change, can cause our bodies to become ill and in some cases it can be fatal.

 

However, what happens to our bodies when the weather just slightly changes?

We can still feel the impact of small changes in temperature, and the weather clearly has an impact on how we feel both physically and mentally.

Cold weather can lessen blood flow, and slow everything down. This natural response to conserve energy can cause our joints and muscles to become stiff and therefore make us ache more than usual.

Barometric pressure (the weight of our atmosphere) can drop before bad weather. This low air pressure causes our tissue to expand which in turn puts more pressure on our joints.

Although the study did not examine the mechanism by which weather influences pain, it is clear that temperature, has massive effects on our bodies.

 

Mind over matter

 

Can your mood affect your physical pain?

The lack of physical activity on damp days and looming gray skies can also affect our mood.

It is thought that your emotional state of mind can have an influence on your pain tolerance. Therefore, some days are better than others, although physical pain may remain the same, the weather may not!.

On damp days it is best to remain active and focused on your day. Maybe try activities such as swimming or a walk around your local museum.

 

How can I relieve joint pain in winter?

Dress to suit the weather. If you have joint issues, make sure those joints have an extra layer on them before setting out.

Switch to indoor activities. It is best to remain active for your joint care, maintaining your weight, and your mental health. Seek a good gym, or swim where you can participate with friends.

Keep hydrated. Joint cartilage has a high water content, and when you become dehydrated the fluid is not replaced and can cause further damage to the joint.

As always, stick with a healthy, well balanced diet to maintain weight, mental health and bone structure.

 

What foods help relieve arthritis pain?

To help reduce inflammation in the joints your should consider adding these items to your diet.

  • Oily fish
  • Green vegetables – broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Spinach
  • Grapes
  • Red berries

 

How do I get my joint pain diagnosed?

Arthritis may not always be the cause of your joint pain and therefore it is best to rule out causes such as –

  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Lupus
  • Overuse or injury

 

To narrow down potential causes of joint pain it is best to visit your GP who can perform a physical examination.

Blood tests and xrays can be performed to confirm diagnosis and help tailor your after care.

Treatment and after care options will depend on the cause of the pain. Our experts can advise on lifestyle changes or medications to help reduce pain and inflammation.

 

Extra help with joint pain

If you need extra help, especially during the winter months with your joint care, our team of specialists are on hand to offer advice, care and medical procedures, such as ultrasound guided injections, to help alleviate pain.

We are currently offering PRP therapy to treat osteoarthritis. For more on this service or to ask an expert please contact us direct – 0203 197 9100.

Alternatively check out our latest news on PRP treatments.