Although it may sound weird, our joints do have an odd connection with the weather. You might have heard your grandparents predicting the onset of monsoon when their joints start aching. You may laugh it out, but surprisingly they are right.
Arthritis and weather do have a lot to do with each other. As soon as the weather starts changing after the scorching heat of summer, even our joints start feeling different. And for someone having arthritis or any joint-related condition, cloudy weather is no less than a nightmare.
How does weather affect joints? How can joint aches indicate the arrival of monsoon? What is the science behind it? Let’s understand all.
Weather and Joint Pain
During the rainy season, the old joint pains, injury pains, stiffness, and swelling, all flare up more than usual due to barometric pressure changes. Barometric pressure or the pressure of the air is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us.
When the pressure is higher, it prevents the tissues in our body from expanding, and when the weather becomes cold and humid, the pressure lowers causing the tissues to expand, forming a higher pressure on the joints. As the cartilage that cushions the joint wears out with time in people living with osteoarthritis, the sensory nerves called baroreceptors in their exposed bones pick up the changes in pressure and trigger joint pain.
Humidity and Arthritis
Another reason why joint pain aggravates during the rainy season is because of high humidity. High levels of humidity cause sweating and dehydration, which in turn make blood thicker, increasing blood pressure in the blood vessels. Thus, our body has to make extra effort to pump blood throughout. They also decrease the concentration of fluid around the joints making it stiffer even to move around.
How to Overcome Weather-related Joint Pain?
Resting is good for joint pain but not too much. Move around indoors and practice strengthening and stretching exercises to make the muscles reliable and flexible and also to have the blood circulation keep going.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated as humidity can cause extreme dehydration.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for people living with arthritis. Loosen up your joint muscles by taking laps in an indoor pool.
Keep yourself warm. Take warm showers or baths, dress in layers during the day as cold weather conditions during the monsoon season can worsen joint conditions.
Give your joints a good warm oil massage. Combine olive oil with few crushed garlic and cloves, warm it up and massage on the affected area.
Have a nutritious diet and get enough sleep.