Today is the first day of spring, but boy has this been a crazy winter! I have had so many patients complaining of joint pain and swelling before and after significant shifts in barometric pressures that accompany the crazy temperature shifts and wild storms. Spring is usually a respite for the cold temperatures, but your joints can still predict incoming thunderstorms that are so common in the spring in North Texas.
So, why do weather conditions affect your joints? There is no hard science, but there are some good theories.
The most common theory involves changes in barometric pressures. If your joints are susceptible to swelling, and the barometric pressure decreases, then those joints will swell more because there is less atmospheric pressure compressing the tissues. The nerves around the joints are then compressed more by the swelling causing pain.
Another theory is that the weather causes you to be more sedentary and stay inside the house. This less active lifestyle causes gelling of the joints or stiffening, which in turn pulls more on the tissues causing increased pain.
So what do we do to try to prevent increasing joint pain in the crazy spring weather? Keep moving! Keep warm! Wear compression stockings, sturdy shoes and your functional orthotics can also help!
If your joint pain and swelling seems to be constant, and not weather related; then it’s time to take a closer look at your arthritic symptoms, and be evaluated by your podiatrist. There are many things that we can do to help you manage your symptoms and be more functional.
Happy Spring!!! Let's make it a more functional and active one!