When the Weather Affects Your Joints
When the seasons change and the weather gets colder and wetter, many people experience stiffer, achier joints. Researchers still aren’t sure why this happens, but there are a few leading theories. Changes in temperature and barometric pressure may cause the body to react in ways that exacerbate joint discomfort.
Top 3 ways the weather can affect your joints:
Changes in atmospheric pressure may cause sensitive tissues to expand and contract, increasing inflammation and discomfort. People with worn-down joint tissues may also have more exposed nerve endings which are sensitive to these pressure changes.
Cold temperatures may thicken the synovial fluid that lubricates joints, restricting its flow and leading to stiffer movements and more friction. Our bodies also conserve heat in the cold by reducing circulation to the outer limbs and extremities, which deprives joints of blood flow.
Behavior & Mood
Our natural human reaction to cold, unpleasant weather can also make things worse. We may hibernate indoors rather than staying active, which decreases circulation to the joints, making them stiffer and achier. A case of the winter blues can also heighten our sense of discomfort.
How to support your joints when the weather turns cold:
Just because the weather is cold doesn’t mean you have to be. Be proactive about dressing in layers and keeping your hands and feet cozy with socks and gloves. Warm yourself up with a hot bath or apply a heating pad to areas that are especially sore. Keeping your body temperature warm will boost circulation, relax tense muscles, and ease stiff joints.
Exercise may be less appealing when it’s cold and rainy, but it’s as important as ever. Not only does it warm you up, loosen you up, and increase blood flow, it can help strengthen the muscles that stabilize your joints and increase your range of motion for better mobility. Indoor swimming in a heated pool is a great option, as the water helps take pressure off the joints.
Many people don’t realize how important water is for healthy joints. Water is a primary component of the synovial fluid that lubricates joints, and makes up about 75% of the spongy cartilage that cushions joints and provides shock absorption. When cartilage is dehydrated, it becomes stiff, increasing friction, inflammation, and discomfort. Keep that water bottle handy!
Joint Support Supplements
Wearing away of cartilege tissue and excess inflammation in the joints causes stiffness and discomfort. Supplements such as Omega-3 Fish Oil and Turmeric & Ginger may help with joint health issues by supporting a healthy inflammation response and limiting cartilage degradation. A meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials found that omega-3s can help with joint comfort. Early research on turmeric for joint comfort is also very promising.
Find all of Naturelo’s Joint Health Supplements.
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