Increased Pain Levels with Colder Weather
Fall is here! Along with the leaves, pumpkin patches, and darker days come colder weather. Unfortunately many people report an increase in their pain levels with colder temperatures. This is common for people with chronic pain and arthritis. The weather can also be an excuse for people to hibernate and not get outside to exercise! A lack of physical activity is proven to cause joints to become stiff, which increases pain levels. While overall evidence to support weather changes affecting joint pain is sparse, there is one study that suggests an increase in pain with weather changes may actually be due to the barometric pressure (atmospheric pressure). In theory, this pressure causes your soft tissues to expand, resulting in pain. Regardless of the cause, many people consistently report increases in their pain levels with weather changes.
Here’s the good news: at Premier physical therapy we have the tools to help! Depending on your diagnosis, we have hot packs to help ease your pain and help increase the blood flow to your joints, and relax your tight muscles. More importantly, exercise eases pain from arthritis, strengthens muscles, increases flexibility, and helps fight fatigue. We have licensed, skilled therapists to create a personalized, pain-free exercise program to help get you started. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy, keeping a positive attitude, and getting outside for some vitamin D while dressing in layers are some helpful tips to help with joint pain. Even if you are having a particularly tough day with pain levels, coming to PT for treatment is the best thing you can do for your pain, and your overall health.
-Amy Foskett, PT, DPT