You're not just imagining it; there is a foundation to the old wives tale that you can 'feel under the weather' or that arthritis sufferers can tell when bad weather is on its way when their joints start to play up.
For years, patients have been providing anecdotal reports of weather conditions affecting the symptoms of their arthritis, but no accurate data had been recorded, so scientists at the University of Manchester are now asking the public to help with a wider study into weather conditions and its link to an increase in pain and discomfort in those suffering from arthritis.You can find out more here.
Although this study might provide concrete data to link joint pain to changes in temperature and barometric pressure, you can't avoid the weather.
So here are some practical tips on how to reduce joint pain:
- Shift those pounds; as well as looking better, you will also feel better. A 2005 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism found that one pound of weight lost resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees.
- Stay active but rethink your workouts; exercise that increases flexibility or supports the joints such as swimming is good whereas any high impact workouts that pound the joints may be better avoided. Exercise may be the last thing you want to do when your joints ache, but you can block some of those pain signals through simple, everyday activities such as walking or swimming. Resistance training will also strengthen muscles that protect and support creaky joints and will help to keep your joints flexible.
- Head for the tub. Heat will increase blood flow and ease pain and stiffness - so a nice warmth bath can do wonders. And who needs an excuse?
- And here’s a more unusual one… A small study of patients with inflammatory osteoarthritis found that people with arthritis may benefit from eating plenty of sour cherries. It is thought that tart cherries' effects on inflammation may be due to their antioxidant compounds, called anthocyanins. Anyone for a sour cherry?
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