Breakdown: Why weather can make your joints ache

Why weather can make your joints ache

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Does your grandmother know when a storm is coming because her knees starts to ache? Or have you felt your joints ache when temperature take a dip?

It’s normal to blame joint pain on changes in the weather. Some doctors even believe people feel the most pain on chilly, rainy days. However, the connection between weather and joint pain isn’t conclusive and many experts disagree on the reasoning. There have been many studies done, but the survey sample has been too small to be truly reliable.

Barometric pressure is typically defined as the reason for joint pain, but other elements can play a role like humidity, precipitation, and temperature. This can make it more difficult for scientists to say which element causes some people to complain of an increase in pain when it’s cold, rainy, or humid.

Some of the theories, especially for arthritis, are that when the cartilage that cushions the bones inside a joint is worn, nerves are exposed and the bone may pick up on pressure changes.

According to experts, pressure changes may make your tendons, muscles and any scar tissue expand and contract, which can add to the pain in joints. Lower temperatures can also make the fluid inside joints thicker, which can make muscles stiffer.

When the weather keeps you inside and you don’t move as much as you normally do, this can make your joints stiffen due to inactivity.

Bottom line is the results of the studies are all over the place but thankfully there are things you can do that may help ease the problem.

  • When temperatures take a tumble, try to stay warm. Take warm showers or baths, dress in layers, use an electric blanket at night, or crank up the heat inside your home.
  • Try a paraffin bath. It’s a small machine that melts paraffin wax. You dip your hands and feet in and allow the wax to harden. Your body absorbs the heat, which may help alleviate achy joints. Heating pads on sore spots is also recommended.
  • Ask your physician about medication. We always recommend talking to your doctor first.
  • Stay healthy by keeping yourself at a healthy weight and remain active. Try to do exercises that are lighter on the joints. Yoga and swimming can be good exercises for the joints. Exercising is important because it can help to build muscle and bone strength.
  • Get good nutrition and enough sleep.

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