Many people have wondered whether or not joint pain is affected by the weather. Those with arthritis will often claim to be able to predict a storm due to increased aches and pains. While there is still no evidence to back up this claim scientifically, there are a few theories as to why you may be feeling increased joint pain in the cold weather.
One possibility is that the decrease in temperature causes the body to send more blood to your core, lowering the blood pressure surrounding your arms, shoulders, knees, and leg joints. Another theory is that changes in barometric pressure may cause joints to enter into an inflammatory response. Or perhaps, the rigid temperature just simply causes our joints to tense up, the same way our body will stiffen when walking out into the cold.
Whatever the reason, there seems to be a common correlation to joint pain and cold weather. Here are a few tips to relieve this seasonal pain.
Many runners experience aches from running out in the cold weather. The best way to avoid this is to properly warm up your body before and after the physical exercise. Typically, it’s best to warm up for at least 5 minutes before starting your jog. Wear appropriate clothes to stay warm throughout the run.
Though running outside may lead to increased joint pain, it’s smart to keep your body active during the cold weather. Even if it includes simple at-home workouts, try adding at least 20 minutes of physical activity to your daily routine if you haven’t already. If exercise is too painful for your joints to endure, or it’s making the aches worse, then speak to your doctor.
Even if you’re just running a few errands, it’s important to dress for the cold—even if you’re just walking from the parking lot to the store. Wear a warm coat, gloves, and good shoes to preserve your body heat. It may be beneficial to start your car to warm it up before leaving the house. Spend time near the fireplace and bundle up at home in warm socks and clothing.
Improve Your Diet
If you’re experiencing extra aches and pains, then try making some adjustments to your diet. There are certain superfoods such as leafy greens and oily fish that will help relieve aches and inflammation. Try adding foods to your diet that have a surplus of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. Some great options are spinach, salmon, almonds, and a glass of milk.
Visit an Orthopaedic Specialist
If nothing else seems to relieve your winter aching, then it may be time to consult in professional help. It’s possible the aching is a result of something bigger than just chilly weather. Give Summit Orthopaedics a call to find out the best way to treat your aching joints.