(WHTM) — Can changes in weather cause joint pain?
A UK study found that people with conditions such as arthritis are more likely to experience pain on days with higher humidity, stronger winds and a lower barometric pressure.
“As the decrease in pressure happens, our tissues — like muscles, ligaments, soft tissue, connective tissue — they expand. And so, if you have arthritis already, like osteoarthritis, that’s wear and tear naturally, either naturally or by an acute injury–the space is already reduced in your joint, and now the pressure change expands those tissues. So now they’re like butting up against the arthritis. So maybe that’s why people hurt more when the barometric pressure changes,” Dr. Andrew Bang a chiropractor at the Cleveland Clinic said.
Dr. Bang, who did not take part in the study, noted that many patients say they have achy joints when the weather changes.
He said extreme temperatures seem to aggravate people, whether that’s hot or cold.
The theories as to why vary and studies on the topic have turned up mixed results.
But to combat joint pain, Dr. Bang encourages people to stay active. With a lot of people working from home, he recommends getting up from the desk when possible and as well as doing simple exercises throughout the day.
“If you have a standing desk, that’s a great time to stand during a meeting. You could do isometrics. I love isometrics because they’re simple and they’re really effective. So, isometric just means same length of a muscle. So, for example, let’s say my shoulders and my back are really tight. I could literally just push my hands together really hard and hold this for a period of time,” he said.
Dr. Bang says consistently doing these exercises can be key to finding some relief for joint pain.