When the temperature starts to cool, a lot of us become aware of how the weather can affect our wellbeing–emotionally, mentally, and physically. If you struggle with joint pain or are diagnosed with arthritis, you might know just how the cold can easily lead to painful and achy joints. As chiropractors, many of our patients come in during the winter due to increased joint pain and stiffness. It is a common belief that those with troublesome joints may be able to predict the weather, but where does this come from, and is it true?
Does The Weather Affect Joint Pain?
Unfortunately, there are no studies that prove arthritis or joint can predict the weather. However, there is enough evidence to prove that your condition can become inflamed or irritated by colder weather. We have a few ideas as to where this myth may have come from.
During colder weather, the barometric pressure drops and can cause your joints to expand and place additional pressure on surrounding nerves inflaming your condition. Additionally, when the temperature drops, fluid can become more viscous making it difficult for them to flow freely preventing them from working properly which may increase sensitivity and pain. People are also often less active in colder weather making joints likely to stiffen.
Signs of Joint Inflammation
- Grinding or cracking sound
- Increased stiffness
- Limited motion
- Pain in the joint
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness around the joint
- Weakness and instability
Can Chiropractic Care Help?
If your joint pain is caused by damage over time due to joint misalignment, poor posture, or overworking of the joint, then chiropractic care can help. Chiropractic manipulations and soft tissue therapies can reduce joint restrictions and misalignments which can help to remove painful symptoms, reduce inflammation, and restore your range of motion.
It is important to note though that we cannot restore the damage that is already done or the loss of cartilage. During your consultation, we will determine the cause of your joint pain and decide what form of treatment is right for you.
What Can You Do?
While no one can control the weather, there are a few tips you can take to limit your risk of joint pain due to cold weather. Keep yourself as warm as possible with layers of clothing and compression garments. If it’s cold outside, opt for gentle indoor exercises and stretches to keep your joints mobile and loose during the winter.
The colder weather is just one of the many stressors that may cause chronic pain, fatigue, and joint discomfort. By visiting our office regularly for treatment, we can reduce and prevent severe aching joints this winter. For more information on how we can help you combat the cold and our services or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Mark F. Herman today.