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Colder Weather vs. Arthritis

Posted on: November 27th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Have you ever known someone who says they can predict bad weather coming on because their knees or other joints hurt? While it may be hard to believe that joint pain can be a predictor of colder or inclement weather, many people who suffer from arthritis or osteoarthritis report more pain in their joints when the temperature drops.

The colder weather and drop in atmospheric pressure can make pain from arthritis and other conditions worse.

While the winters are never really that cold here in southern California, temperature may not have anything to do with the increase in pain and discomfort. Rather, it has more to do with the barometric pressure in the atmosphere that accompanies a front of colder weather. In a few studies, patients put in pressure chambers with lower barometric pressure felt more aches in pains.

So, if you or a loved one suffers from achy joints because of arthritis or osteoarthritis, there are a few things you can do to help relieve the pain this late fall and winter from the lower temperatures and pressure.

The first is to obviously dress warmly. Even in the relatively warm Los Angeles winters, the cold can still creep up on you during a day out. Dress in layers that are easy to take off or put on. Remember: it’s better to have too many clothes than not enough. Staying physically active indoors also helps. You can do yoga or other simple home workouts, or try walking around the nearest mall a couple of times.

Warm water can be your best friend as well. Swimming in a heated pool or soaking in a hot bath keeps your joints and muscles relaxed. A little extra vitamin D can go a long way, too. Since vitamin D is created by our bodies when we are in the sunlight, we can be lacking during the fall and winter. A vitamin D supplement helps bones to absorb calcium, decreasing the amount of pain caused by the many forms of arthritis.

If the pain is bad enough, you may need a mobility device to help you get around. LA Medical provides canes, rollators, walkers, wheelchairs and power mobility products for those that need them. We hope you stay safe and mobile as the temperature drops, so contact us if you have a need for a mobility device!

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