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The Change in the Weather and Those Aching Joints

By: Charles M. Pesson

If you are a person who experiences joint pain, you may have noticed that there's something about cold and wet weather that just seems to make those joints ache more than usual. Ever wondered what that is? Well it's not your imagination. There is truly something in the weather that makes joints hurt. The reason for that extra ache can be attributed to changes in humidity and barometric pressure. In fact, any type of inflammatory condition such as arthritis, bursitis or tendonitis can be affected by such weather changes.

Not sure if you have an inflammatory condition? Swelling, stiffness and popping are some of the most common signs of joint inflammation. It's these conditions that tend to worsen when it's cold and damp outside. There are many different causes of joint pain, but some of the most common include over-use syndromes, that result from activity at work or athletic-related activity, and various forms of arthritis.

No matter what the reason for your joint pain, exercise should be an integral part in managing that pain. However, one must be certain to take extra care to avoid the use of significant weight when planning or participating in an exercise program. Instead, try focusing on stretching and exercises that help the body in achieving full range of motion.

For example, using an Elliptical machine or recumbent exercise equipment can be beneficial for joint strengthening and range of motion while limiting stress to the joints. Swimming, if you have the opportunity, is also a great way to exercise without putting unnecessary stress on joints.

When joint pain is persistent, medication may be helpful in alleviating that pain. There are a number of over-the-counter medications that are very effective in treating the pain associated with joint inflammation. If over-the-counter medications do not prove to be effective, your doctor may prescribe one of many prescription options that are available.

For joint pain that doesn't improve with physical therapy and medication, joint replacement surgery may be a possible alternative. Due to new technology, significant advances have been made in joint replacement surgery over the past few years. Minimally invasive surgical techniques help to decrease pain and recovery time, and the introduction of more durable materials help to prolong joint function. The use of computer navigation is another advance which allows precise positioning of components, improving long-term function and durability of joints.


So as winter deepens and the weather outside continues to be cold and wet, don't be alarmed if your joints seem to be aching more, it's perfectly normal. However, be sure you don't let the cold weather keep you from regular exercise. Try indoor exercises such as stretching, working out in a gym, or swimming at an indoor swimming pool. But remember, if over-the-counter medicines and careful exercise don't seem to be helping your joint pain, visit your orthopaedist for a closer look at the causes and treatment options for your pain.


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