Aches and Pains and Weather Vanes

Grandma always used to say, “My knees hurt, rain must be coming!” We always thought she was maybe a little off her rocker, but it turns out, she was telling the truth!

A 2007 study by Tufts University showed for every 10-degree temperature drop, there was an increase in participants’ arthritis pain.

Barometric pressure (a measure that refers to the “weight” of the air) seemed to be a possible trigger. Most researchers say the difference is not “clinically significant” for research purposes, but that doesn’t change the association between weather changes and reported pain.

So maybe Grandma was on to something!

But what can be done to prevent the pain? According to David Borenstein MD, FACP, FACR, a rheumatologist and clinic professor of medicine at George Washington University Medical Center, adding warm layers can help with the pain, but not the swelling. In an article on WebMD, he recommends wearing spandex gloves to sleep if hand swelling is an issue.

Here are some other great ways you can manage your arthritis pain:

  • Drop a few pounds. We know it isn’t easy, but if you are overweight, losing a few pounds can really help to relieve extra pressure on your joints, especially in your hips, back and knees.
  • Weather-related pain is temporary. There’s no need to pack up and move to Florida. Your body is resilient and can adapt to changes in the weather.

Get some exercise. Joints need the lubrication provided by regular movement. The best type of exercise for arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation, is warm water therapy. For other activities, be sure to warm up inside before heading outdoors to walk or do other low-impact activities in cold or changing weather.

Did you Know?

The Arthritis Foundation has a helpful tool to help you identify where it hurts and what to do about it.

Does your body have ESP? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

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