Does Your Joint Pain Forecast the Weather?

  • December 12, 2018
  • |Quartz
|
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Be Limber
Many scientists believe higher humidity accompanied by a falling barometric pressure causes joint pain.

Do your knees tell you a big storm is coming long before it’s due to hit the Midwest? You’re not alone. Studies show that weather changes can affect chronic pain – specifically, joint pain.

HOW DOES THE CHANGE IN WEATHER CAUSE PAIN?

Many scientists believe higher humidity accompanied by a falling barometric pressure causes joint pain. For those of us who aren’t meteorologists, think of it as the weight of the air pressing on the Earth (and us). The decreasing pressure of bad weather causes tissues to swell slightly, which can irritate your joints. Cold temperatures can make pain worse in your muscles and ligaments. It can also stiffen joints – causing even more pain. But don’t pack your bags for a warmer climate just yet. Chronic pain doesn’t care where you live. Humidity and barometric pressure changes are everywhere.

HOW TO AVOID WEATHER-RELATED PAIN

You can’t avoid weather changes, but there are ways to at least ease the ill effects –

  • Stay limber. Try doing Zumba, Pilates, yoga or stretching regularly.
  • Water exercise. Loosen stiff muscles and strengthen joints by doing water aerobics or other workouts in a warm pool.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications. Talk to your doctor about taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

Learn more about ways to keep your joints moving with our health and wellness programs at Quartzbenefits.com/healthandwellness.

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