Do plunging temperatures seem to trigger your joint pain? You’re not alone. Many people report suddenly worsening symptoms as the weather changes. A common theory is that this is the result of changes in barometric pressure that leads to subtle changes in the pressure on joints and joint lining. The research into the phenomena has led to conflicting results. There isn’t a solid, scientific explanation for why so many people suffer joint pain as the weather changes. But there is a good deal of anecdotal evidence. One study found that as many as two thirds of people suffering from chronic joint pain believed there was a link between the severity of their symptoms and the weather. In the words of one rheumatology expert, Dr. James Fant, “…I’ve been practicing for nearly 20 years and I’ve heard it so often from so many patients that I know there’s something to it.”
If you do regularly suffer joint pain, or even if you do not, there are some precautions to help avoid or mitigate pain as the weather changes. Wear warm, protective clothing to avoid suddenly exposing your joints to dramatically cooler conditions. Stretch and move regularly, especially if you sit a lot at work.
If joint pain has become a very significant problem as the climate grows chillier or if you know from experience your pain seems to worsen dramatically as the weather changes, see a joint specialist. First, they can diagnose the underlying source of your “baseline” joint pain: whether it’s a form of arthritis, injury to the bone, cartilage or other joint tissue, or even damage caused and/or worsened by poor posture or deformity. They can treat the underlying condition, and establish a plan to help deal with sudden changes in temperature. This may include special exercises, stretches, medication, or even assistive devices.
Our joint treatment professionals are available for consults. Request an appointment today for a healthier, more active season ahead!