How Winter Weather Can Affect Your Arthritis
Fact or Fable?
It is common for people to experience changes in arthritis pain during changes in air pressure before a storm, but can colder temperatures affect your arthritis?
According to a study by the American Journal of Medicine, colder temperatures affect the level of thickness in the body’s joint fluid. This increase in thickness is thought to possibly increase the stiffness felt in joints, increasing their sensitivities. The cold, wet season is when discomfort grows and people seek physical therapy in Nesconset.
It is important to pay attention to your body, especially when physical changes in your environment may be taking place. Although no studies yet prove that colder weather directly causes exacerbation of joint pain, there are notable correlations between the two. If you feel you are experiencing an increase in pain during these lower temperatures, it may be the season to take precautions and seek care from physical therapy in Nesconset. The following are additional measures you can take right now to minimize arthritis pain.
What You Should Do:
- Bundle Up: Dressing in layers will help insulate your body with heat and minimize the cold’s effects on your joints
- Added Heat: If layers are not enough to keep you warm, try an electrically heated blanket or wearing clothes straight out of the dryer.
- Heat Therapy: Use a heating pad or hot stones directly on joints to relax muscles and soothe the pain.
- Prevention: Before you enter the cold outside in the winter, stretch or do a few basic isometric exercises to loosen up beforehand.
- Mental Hygiene: Keep up with breathing exercises, your sleep cycle, time spent in nature, mindfulness, affirmations, or any methods to improve mood. Physical pain from arthritis can be psychosomatic and can be alleviated or exacerbated by your state of mind.