October brings many changes to the Hampton Roads community. As leaves begin to redden, seasonal treats made with pumpkin and spiced apples hit the bakery shelves. A nip in the air reminds us that temperatures will drop further, and adjustments to exercise routines become necessary. For those who live with joint pain, however, the flare-ups associated with the change in weather may be enough of a signal that Fall is here.
Joint aches that correspond to changes in weather patterns aren’t necessarily borne of old wives’ tales. Doctors and scientists have spent years researching the connection between chronic pain and the environment. Recently, researchers at the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis at the University of Manchester conducted a study on the effects of weather on a group of over 13,000 people. Among the findings, it was discovered that subjects experienced increased instances of aches and pains during specific conditions, including:
- Low pressure
- High humidity
- High winds
- Increased rain
It was also reported that low pressure days may affect the fluid sacs in joints, causing them to expand and cause stiffness and discomfort. (source: The Washington Post)
Adjusting to Seasonal Changes
How does the weather affect your knees, shoulders, or hands? If you find your “bad days” correlate to dreary fall weather, you may be able to adjust your routine to make the best of your situation. Keeping track of weekly forecasts may help you anticipate flare-ups and work toward the proper solution to maintain joint health, be it increased activity to lubricate your joints or medications as prescribed by your physician.
At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and physical therapists provide the care and support needed to improve quality of life for people suffering joint pain. Contact us today to learn more about the treatments we offer.