If you live with arthritis, you probably wonder why your joints hurt before it rains. I never really understood how that works so I did a little digging. While I’m not a doctor by any sane stretch of the imagination, I want you to feel better. Knowledge is power and allows you some control over your health and doesn’t that make you feel better already?
In North Carolina, we’ve dealt with a couple of hurricanes this year already – dayum – enough is enough – and you’ve probably been in pain more lately. Here’s why.
A lot of people believe they hurt more when it’s raining, but that’s not really the cause of aching joints. Most likely, you can tell me when the weather changes long before it ever gets here. All you know is that you have knee pain when it rains. Why?
When the barometric pressure is higher, it “presses” in on your body holding your tissues in place. You really don’t feel it, but it’s there. Conversely, when the barometric pressure falls, there’s less pressure on your body which gives your tissues room to swell. And you hurt more.
If you are a weather watcher, then you know the barometric pressure falls right before it rains. That’s less pressure on your body, your tissue swells and your joints ache.
The Arthritis Foundation says this about cooler temperatures and falling barometric pressure:
A study from Tufts University in 2007 found that every 10-degree drop in temperature corresponded with an incremental increase in arthritis pain. In addition, relatively low barometric pressure, low temperatures and precipitation can increase pain. Researchers aren’t sure why this happens. They suspect certain atmospheric conditions increase swelling in the joint capsule.
We’re into October, it’s cooling off and your joints hurt more lately. Yes, it’s miserable and I’m sorry that you hurt.
If you’d like to track this, you can personalize your own weather forecast to connect the dots between falling barometric pressure and arthritis pain. Accuweather.com has an Arthritis Index based on the weather. When you go to their site, look toward the top of the menu (I’m working on a laptop) for the medical cross and click on the arrow to the right of the medical cross. You’ll see a dropdown menu and you can pick any number of concerns such as allergies, arthritis, migraines and cold/flu.
If nothing else, you get a heads up to better plan your day around the weather – even if it is unpredictable!
What Can I Do To Feel Better?
If you have chronic pain and/or arthritis pain – and have been diagnosed by a doctor – there are several things you can do to help yourself.
- If it’s cold outside, layer up! Most office buildings are freezing cold in the wintertime, so wear a couple of layers such as a camisole or an extra pair of socks to keep your bones warmer. I now have a pair of those fingerless gloves because I’m miserable when my hands are cold! I found a couple of links for you on Amazon (not affiliate links): Half Finger Gloves and Cable Knit Fingerless Gloves.
- Wear compression clothing – as in wrap your knee or ankle in an elastic bandage. This compresses the area and helps keep the swelling to a minimum.
- You’ll hate me for this one, but mild and gentle exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the stiffness. Swimming in particular is very helpful and doesn’t put any pressure on your already sore joints. Seriously – this alone is worth the cost of a Y-membership!
- Take regular Yoga classes. I love yoga. I’ve learned to breathe deeply and stretch my body and my bones. It’s gentle, effective, helps with your range of motion and who doesn’t need some awesome self-care? I absolutely love my yoga instructor at Lovingkindness Reiki and Yoga. If you haven’t tried, now is a great time. One more thing about yoga. You’ll find classes for women – and men – of all shapes, sizes and health levels. GO – today!
- Acupuncture has been proven to relieve pain along with many other health concerns. Please don’t use this instead of proper medical care! The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has an excellent article on their website that gives you lots of information.
- Allow me to tell you about Flexatoid for Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s one of my most requested products for chronic pain. Flexatoid is warming to your skin and the essential oils in the blend address the pain, inflammation and joint swelling. It’s good for any chronic pain.
I’m a huge fan of Integrative medicine as it incorporates the very best of Western medicine (if there is such a thing) yet looks outside the box for more holistic answers to your health concerns. If you live in or near the Winston-Salem, NC area, there are two practitioners that practice integrative medicine to serve your body, mind and spirit:
- Robinhood Integrative Health on Robinhood Road. I’ve been a patient there for over a decade and appreciate their care and concern. They have an on-premises supplement shop and you’ll find some Scented Balance products there.
- Thrive Integrative Health on Reynolda Road. While I’m not a patient here, I have met Dr. Young and appreciate her holistic approach.
Each of these practitioners are concerned about your well-being, not just shoving a pill down your throat. I realize that’s a sharp comment, but if you know me at all, you know the rough time I’ve had with allopathic physicians.
I hope I’ve helped you today because I want you to be informed and have an easier time of taking charge of your own health. If you’re looking for more holistic solutions to your health concerns, please fill out this short contact form and let’s talk – today!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.