You may have heard an older person claim that they can “feel it in their bones” when the weather is about to change. It seems like just a silly saying, but can the weather really impact your joints?
How weather affects joints
There have been countless studies that have attempted to determine the connection between the weather and joint pain. However, none have been able to conclusively point out the connection. This is not necessarily because there is no connection, but because the small number of people surveyed has not led to reliable a result.
Although the links are not completely clear, there are a few scientific theories about the relationship between joint pain and weather. The primary theory has to do with barometric pressure, barometric pressure being the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us. When barometric pressure is high, it pushes against the body and keeps our tissues from expanding. However, when there is poor weather, the barometric pressure drops. The low air pressure allows tissues to expand and constrict joints, causing pain.
Another reason an individual may begin to feel aches and pains during bad weather is because it does not allow for regular physical activity. Terrible weather can cause someone to stay home and lounge around, abandoning their routine movement. This results in joints becoming tight and supports the claim that the weather is directly to blame for pain.
Keeping your joints comfortable
When bad weather approaches, it can be tempting to pack everything flee to a better location. However, that is not a realistic solution for everyone. Instead, here are some tips that can be used to protect your joints during weather changes.
- Keep Moving. Resting is all you can think about when you experience aches and pains. However, remaining still has the potential to make the stiffness and pain more severe. Walking and stretching periodically can ease the joint discomfort if done gently and carefully.
- Focus on nutrition. A healthy diet can support joint health. Getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, seeds, and nuts are known to help reduce inflammation in the joints.
- Wear Layers. During the winter months, keeping joints warm and compressed can help keep your joints limber. Additionally, wearing compression sleeves around troublesome joints like knees and ankles can help by promoting healthy circulation.
- Try cold compresses. While heating pads may feel good on joints, they are not necessarily the best tool. If a joint is swollen, a cold compress is more effective in relieving inflammation.
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