Arthritis and Winter Months

 

How often have you said, “It is going to snow? I can feel it in my bones.” Not only have you said it but you have heard other arthritis sufferers say this and other similar quotes about predicting the weather. The reason we, as arthritis sufferers, can predict the weather is because we feel increased pain due to being weather sensitive. We know that will be cold, snowing and rainy before any of these things actually happen. 

Did you know that 70 percent of people with arthritis are weather sensitive? Not only does winter bring with it colds and flus, it also brings with it an exacerbation of our chronic ailments. Most of us are going to have worsening pain in our bones and joints during the winter months. However, just because you are not out and about doesn’t mean you cannot be active. It is still important for you to be active and to avoid becoming a couch potato during the wintertime months. 

What we know about weather and the wintertime is that cold and damp weather can cause tendons, ligaments and muscles around the joints to contract. Moreover, cavities in the joints are affected by atmospheric pressure. Winter is already going to increase arthritis symptoms and being inactive will add to the toll. To keep mobile, continue regular exercise and range of motion activities.  

You will also want to protect your joints. To protect your joints in the winter months,

• Keep warm and covered

• Avoid strenuous activity such as shoveling snow

• Avoid falls by being careful on slippery surfaces.

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