Cold Weather and Joint Pain
By Kathleen Williams
Cold weather is often blamed for increased joint pain for individuals with long standing joint conditions such as arthritis. Amplified pain with weather changes is often thought to be associated with changing pressure and humidity. At this time, researchers cannot definitively say that is true.
Despite the lack of research, there are well understood reasons and explanations why so many perceive more pain and discomfort with cold and wet weather. Cold/rainy weather and decreased daylight tend to make us less active. Cold also makes our muscles contraction and tense to produce heat internally. This may be the culprit for increased discomfort.
So, what is the solution? For many, increased activity may be an easy and safe option. Contrary to belief, movement is not harmful for arthritic joints in most circumstances. Regular physical activity, including walking on a treadmill, pool therapy, and postural/stretching exercises, are great options to keep joints lubricated and warm. Other at home remedies to ease joint pain include covering the painful area with a hot pack, warm moist towel or heating pad. This can soothe an achy, arthritic joint and allow for increased range of motion. This is the ultimate goal. Joint mobility goes a long way to reduce the perceived pain and improve health.
For more solutions to arthritis and joint pain, contact Burkhart & Chapp Chiropractic to discuss other treatment options to reduce pain and increase mobility through effective chiropractic treatment. We seek to provide a non-surgical, drug-free healthcare approach to the West Michigan community. This is so desperately needed due to the rise in prescription drug abuse and cost for surgery.
One note of caution, safe application of heating pads for most individuals is 15 minutes or less. Improper or excessive use of moist heat can lead to swelling and heat rash. It is wise to discuss all home care regimes such as heat use and exercise options with your doctor of chiropractic to determine the pros and cons of starting a new wellness program or stretches.