Can you really feel the storm in your bone or is this just an old wives’ tale? People with aches and pains commonly state they feel worse on cold days. Believe it or not, their weather forecasting might have some validity, thanks to the effects of barometric pressure changes on your body.
Does bad weather actually make you feel worse?
If your joint pain gets worse when it’s cold or raining, it’s not your imagination. Although studies have shown mixed results, changes in barometric pressure can cause some people—especially people with arthritis—to have increased pain in their joints.
Barometric pressure is defined as the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds you. When barometric pressure is higher, it keeps tissues in your body from expanding. Usually, this barometric pressure lowers before bad weather, such as rain.
Then, lower air pressure pushes against your body. In turn, tissues expand and form a greater pressure on your joints. This pressure is microscopic and we don’t, actually, notice it. The only sign of that pressure is the pain sensation you feel.
So what can be done during bad weather?
If you experience increased joint pain with weather fluctuation, you need to come up with a routine you know works for when joint pain creeps up. For now, here are some tips on how to reduce the joint pain during bad weather.
- Do low impact exercises to improve flexibility of the joints.
- Apply heat packs and hot compresses to aching joints. These should help your muscle relax.
- Keep your legs elevates to reduce swelling.
- Massage can also help relieve pain.
- Consult a local physio about joint pain relief medications.
While studies are inconclusive at best, it doesn’t mean the weather-joint link isn’t real. So, if you have significant and persistent joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, do something about it.
At UC Physio, we have an expert Physiotherapy team who can talk to you and prepare a therapy routine that will work best to ease your pain. Call us and let us know if you need some assistance and our team would be happy to help.