Many people find, especially as they get older, that when the weather starts to change, they experience pain in their joints. For most, it’s just a fact of life, and they don’t question just why. However, as with any unexplained symptom, it’s important that you educate yourself about what could be causing it so that you can take actions to do something about it and alleviate your pain.
The most likely cause of joint pain in cold weather is some form of arthritis. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got arthritis, but research suggests that those who do have the condition are much more likely to suffer from joint pain as the mercury starts to fall. But why is this?
Some scientists think that joint pain in cold weather isn’t itself caused by the temperature, but rather by shifts in barometric pressure. When these shifts occur, it means that the weight of the air pushing down towards the Earth’s surface changes. Nerve endings, particularly in people who have arthritis, are sensitive to these changes in weight and often stiffen when they occur.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to prevent the pain from happening entirely. However, there are many techniques that you can put to use to relieve the pain to some degree so that you don’t have to sit back and suffer. The best way to keep your joints pain-free is to stay active so that they don’t start off stiff. Try starting your day with some light exercise that gets the joints in question moving, to prevent them from seizing up later in the day. You should also try to stay warm, which means putting on an extra layer of clothing if the pain starts getting worse. If one particular area is in a lot of pain, then applying a hand warmer or something similar should help to alleviate it.
One final point to bear in mind- the pain that you may be experiencing will only be temporary. As mentioned earlier, most scientists believe that the is caused by shifts in barometric pressure, and not the temperature or weather itself. As your body adjusts to the weather change, you should find that the pain starts to die down, and in most cases, it will disappear altogether.
For more information on joint pain, contact Dr. Dan Albright at 919-863-6808.