Treat­ing weath­er­re­lated joint pain

The Covington News - - HEALTH - STAFF RE­PORTS news@cov­

Early spring is of­ten marked by wind and rain that pre­cedes the more wel­com­ing warmth syn­ony­mous with late spring and sum­mer.

Rainy, damp con­di­tions may be great for home­own­ers look­ing to re­vi­tal­ize their lawns and gar­dens, but such con­di­tions can wreak havoc on achy joints, es­pe­cially for those who ex­pe­ri­ence arthri­tis. Although there is no con­crete proof to link aching joints and mus­cles with damp weather, rheuma­tol­o­gists are of­ten asked why achy joints and mus­cles tend to ache that much more in damp weather.

Drop­ping baro­met­ric pres­sure, which oc­curs when rain is on the hori­zon, may cause tis­sues to swell. Swelling tis­sues in al­ready in­flamed joints can add to pain, es­pe­cially if th­ese tis­sues push into nerves and mus­cles in the area. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey pub­lished in the jour­nal Pain, two-thirds of peo­ple living with chronic joint pain be­lieve there is a link be­tween their pain and weather changes. Changes in hu­mid­ity and tem­per­a­ture also may play a role, af­fect­ing pres­sure all over the body. Joint pain may not be the only ef­fect, as some peo­ple get headaches as well.

While spring may be a painful time of year for suf­fer­ers of joint pain, there are steps such men and women can take to al­le­vi­ate some of those aches. When rainy or cooler tem­per­a­tures loom, try th­ese ideas. See your doc­tor. If your pain is grow­ing more se­vere, con­sult with your doc­tor, who may be able to de­velop a plan that helps you deal with the chang­ing sea­sons more com­fort­ably. Doc­tors may sug­gest chi­ro­prac­tic ma­nip­u­la­tion, or phys­i­cal ther­apy or pre­scribe pain med­i­ca­tions. Keep the body warm. Cold limbs and joints may be more prone to stiff­ness and pain. Dress in lay­ers and use heat­ing pads to com­bat chilly tem­per­a­tures. Ex­er­cise painful joints. Rely on low-im­pact ex­er­cises, such as walk­ing or swim­ming, to loosen up stiff­ness in the body. Loos­en­ing up and stretch­ing be­fore any in­tense work­outs is rec­om­mended.

Rainy weather may be in the fore­cast, and that can mean in­creased pain for those with achy joints. Work­ing with a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional can help take the “ouch” out of sea­sonal changes.

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