Can you feel ‘weather’ in your bones? Does rain cause ‘pain’?
Often many people are seen complaining about getting pain in their joints with change of season. Even with some variations in temperature or humidity in the environment, people come blaming the weather, for their sudden joint pains.*
Believe it or not, the weather forecasting system may have some validity. All thanks to the barometric pressure changes on the body and brain. It might be microscopic to be noticed but can be felt. Sometimes nerves could be more sensitized due to recent or previous injuries, inflammations, scarring or adhesions. Since a long time, the link between pain and weather changes has been considered hypothetical or psychosomatic, with mixed conclusions by researchers; but it could be supported according to surveys published in the Journal ‘Pain’.**
At risk people
- The old age group and growing children
- Arthritis/ Rheumatoid arthritis/ Osteoporosis/ Chronic joint pain
- Raynaud’s disease/ Fibromyalgia
- Recent or past surgeries/ Injuries/ Fractures, without proper post-rehabilitation and physiotherapy
- Weak joints (bones or muscles) due to lack of sunlight exposure and Vitamin D
- Lack of proper nutrition/ Water intake/ Sleep
- Lack of exercises/ Sedentary lifestyle
Why consult a Physiotherapist?
They say change is good, but this might not be true every time. With change in climate, people commonly complain of increased pain in the body. Such variations may occur with change in season, not only when people stay in the same place but also when they might travel to a different place.
Joint pain can be triggered leading to tightness or stiffness. DO NOT SELF DIAGNOSE! Consultation with a Physiotherapist is only for the benefit of people and most importantly it comes without any side effects. No one can do anything about the weather apart from being prepared. Reassurance is necessary that pain is only temporary and short lived. Your Physio is the one who can help you get prepared with the care one has to take to avoid further damages. Although weather prediction may not be in hands of a Physiotherapist, having people establish a good plan of care can help them remain pain-free!!
Our advice would be to “KEEP WARM - KEEP MOVING” and the following comfort measures should be taken:
- Dressing in layers - keep warm and protected in winters.
- Get good amount of sleep.
- Have sufficient sunlight exposure - for healthy bones.
- Hydrate/ drink plenty of water - it increases flexibility and lubrication in joints, and reduces wear and tear of joints.
- Weight loss - advised in individuals with improper height-weight ratio. Avoid fatty foods and maintain a healthy diet rich in Vitamins and Minerals.
- Using heat modalities or hot water fomentation at home - as muscles are relaxed, pain is reduced in a soothing way.
- Not just winters, joint pain can shoot up with weather changes anytime. Unless otherwise sensitive, ice therapy can be taken.
- Always remember to maintain a good posture - avoid sitting or standing in one position for too long.
- Stay active - don’t be a couch potato!
Importance of Physiotherapy exercises
The benefits of exercising are longer lasting than other modalities and pain killers or medications which act only on the temporary symptoms like ‘pain’. It helps to warm-up the body as a precautionary measure.
Stretching helps to loosen the stiffness in painful joints and maintain mobility, which helps in better fluid circulation and thus decreases pain. Exercises are essential to strengthen the muscles and bones, and prepare the joints to bear environmental changes.
But always keep in mind to exercise within the pain limit. “DON’T TRAIN HARD, TRAIN SMART”.