Weather and Osteoarthritis


Weather and Osteoarthritis

Are Weather and Osteoarthritis Symptoms Related?

There are many people who claim they can tell if it is going to rain by the aching in their bones. Apparently, there is some truth to it. First of all, humidity can cause people with osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis to feel pain. The barometric pressure, as it rises, can also cause them to be miserable. What can you do when you cannot escape the weather and osteoarthritis? Check out the following tips to prepare for what Mother Nature dishes out!

Dress Warmly

The cold weather is a sure way to bring on achy bones.  Keep warm by wearing layers of clothing. Don a jacket or coat when outside along with a toasty hat, scarf, and gloves. Dress in sweaters or sweatshirts and long pants. Thermal clothing underneath your outerwear can protect your bones from the chill. Insulated boots that are waterproof will keep your feet warm and dry.

Electric blankets and heating pads

If you don’t like to turn up the thermostat, invest in an electric blanket or heating pad. They will provide direct warm to keep your body warm while you are watching T.V. or sleeping. Heating pads are smaller than electric blankets and are useful for placing directly on your affected joints.

Warm Up the Homestead

Make sure your home is properly insulated and has tight fitting windows. These steps will keep the moisture and drafts out. If your home is carpeted, it will feel warmer just because your feet won’t be walking on cold ceramic tiles or hardwood floors.

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Exercise

It would be better to exercise indoors to prevent getting your joints cold from wintry months. Exercise keeps your joints lubricated and moving freely.

Humidity

When there is moisture in the air, those with osteoarthritis know it. Humidity can make your joints swell, adding to the stiffness and discomfort. Getting a dehumidifier for your home may help reduce the symptoms brought on by humid air.

Damp Weather

When it is rainy and damp, joints suffer. Inflammation and pain seem to increase when the environment is murky. It’s hard to avoid this type of weather, but there are ways to alleviate the pain and swelling caused from it. If you know rain is in the forecast, take an anti-inflammatory the night before and take it at regular intervals after that. This intervention will reduce the pain experienced by the weather. Naproxen is an over-the-counter medication you can take; it is also available by prescription. Topical creams that target pain and swelling are good options to try as well.

Other Ways to Combat Weather-Related OA Symptoms

Outside of moving to Arizona, there are ways to combat OA symptoms. If you are feeling achy on a rainy day, just a nice warm shower or bath. Soaking in warm water can alleviate the pain in your joints. If your local community Y has a sauna, you may find you will benefit from its dry heat.

Using the many interventions suggested, you can overcome much of the discomfort brought on by the weather.

Resources

Answers (Arthritis: Does Weather Make it Worse?)

About Health (Surviving Cold Weather with Osteoarthritis)

Yvonne BanksYvonne Banks

Yvonne is a licensed practical nurse who has a passion for helping people to improve their health conditions. Practicing since 2001, she has worked with both geriatric and pediatric patients during the course of her career.

Feb 10, 2015
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