January 26, 2018
Chilling winter temperatures have a range of effects on just about everyone that has to deal with them, and for most of you, this means changing your routine to adapt with the weather. Planning ahead becomes even more of a necessity, and most individuals try to reduce the amount of time spent outside to as little as possible. But for anyone with arthritis, the decrease in temperature can also mean an increase of pain in Laurel. Fortunately, we understand how frustrating these winter symptoms can be, and our therapists are here to offer you some relief.
If you have arthritis or know anyone that does, you’ve probably noticed that cold or rainy weather can increase arthritic symptoms like pain and stiffness. Many people with arthritis even claim that pain in their joints can be a predictor of cold weather or rain. As a result, when frigid weather arrives, these individuals are faced with even more difficulty getting out of bed in the morning and performing normal daily activities due to this increase in symptoms.
It may surprise any of you that experience these issues, but there is actually very little scientific evidence to support the notion that cold weather can make arthritis symptoms worse. One leading theory as to why this occurs is that as the weather changes and the pressure drops, tissues that surround joints expand slightly. This puts extra pressure on joints and leads to pain. Other medical professionals believe that it may be a more indirect effect of the weather, since cold temperatures usually lead to shivering, tightening up and less physical activity. All of these factors can make arthritis symptoms worse, even though the weather itself doesn’t increase pain and stiffness directly.
What we recommend for your arthritis pain in Laurel this winter
For anyone with arthritis that does experience worse symptoms in the cold, the reasoning behind it doesn’t matter so much as the fact that it happens. If these winter months are leaving you with extra arthritis pain in Laurel and preventing you from functioning normally, our physical therapists can help by advising you on how to move properly and stay active these next few months. Here’s what we will do for you:
- Prescribe muscle-strengthening exercises to build up joints that have been weakened by damage or inflammation from arthritis
- Help create a regular exercise plan to stay active throughout the colder months, encouraging exercise of affected joints before going outdoors
- Perform manual (hands-on) techniques to stretch out and move stiff joints
- Teach techniques to help you perform daily activities with the best possible posture and body movements to reduce painful actions
- Encourage warm-water exercise, which is especially helpful this time of year to relieve stiffness with the warmth and buoyancy of the water
- Instruct on the use heating pads and warming agents for painful joints
Frigid weather might result in elevated symptoms, but staying put all winter can actually make matters even worse. This is why we recommend staying active and coming in to see us at CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services for anyone dealing with arthritis pain in Laurel, Hyattsville or Glenn Dale/Bowie, MD. Contact us at 301-853-0093 to schedule an appointment at any of our three clinics, or click here for more information.