What is it that your grandmother used to say? It seemed that she could predict bad weather just by rubbing her knee or her elbow. So, is there a correlation between bad weather and bad joints?
It seems like an old wives’ tale but it is really? What are some of the reasons why a joint will ache? Arthritis is a term that is used to describe joint pain. It is an inflammation of various joints in the body. This can be either hereditary (rheumatoid arthritis), due to injury, physical activity or age.
Joints are cushioned by fluid lubricant and cartilage at the ends of bones. To ensure that the joint moves through a proper range of motion, ligaments and tendons keep the bones in appropriate proportion to each other. Certain activities or movements can change that orientation and results in joint pain. Lack of lubrication, contact between bones and wearing down of cartilage can lead to the pain of arthritis.
So how do you control your pain? It could be medication, exercise, diet or even a natural remedy you have heard about. But, you may still have a flare-up in cold weather.
Here’s why. Cold weather has the tendency to slow things down. Think about candy over heat. As long as the heat is applied, the candy is able to be shaped and molded. When it gets cold, it is more likely to break when you try to manipulate it.
The same can be said of your joints. When the weather gets cold, it is harder to move joints than before. Muscles can stiffen up, making it even harder to manage daily activities. Even to move your muscles and joints can lead to inflammation.
When inflammation is involved, you have swelling. Swelling can make a joint hard to move. This is often felt by arthritis sufferers when the barometric pressure drops.
What can you do if you have arthritis? Here are a few tips to prevent pain during the winter months.
* Stay warm – If you plan on exercising in cooler weather, perform your warm-up inside. That way, your muscles are more flexible and ready to move once you step outdoors. Also, dress as warmly as you can. Layer your clothing so that you can hold the heat in and prevent stiffening.
* Try some new therapies – Ask your doctor about what you can do to manage cold weather. Stepping up your physical therapy or taking supplements can increase the lubrication in your joints and reduce inflammation. You will also be able to manage your daily activities.
Are joint pains a predictor of weather troubles? It might seem that way, but there is no definitive scientific proof. If you are affected, get help to avoid the added discomfort.