I love posting articles on my treatment room wall. Several of my patients have commented on the one, most recently posted from the Wall Street Journal, titled “How Knees Predict the Weather”. Yes, what many PTs, including myself, have proclaimed before, now gets first page press in the Wall Street. If you have an actively swollen joint (arthritis), you’re more likely to notice adverse impact on it when the barometric pressure starts changing.
When the barometric pressure drops outside, your swelling now has greater area to invade, potentially making you feel stiffer than usual, potentially pain from encroachment on nerves or other pain producing parts. So, what can you do to help alleviate these unpleasant additions during weather changes? The Wall Street Journal made these suggestions: take an anti-inflammatory before the weather system hits, keep your joints warm with extra clothing or hot packs to keep circulation optimal, and stay active keeping muscles around arthritic joints strong.
I will add potentially adding compressive wraps or stockings (depending on the arthritic area) and that active movement is lubrication to your joints — increasing your circulation and not letting any swelling take up residence on unwanted areas. So, when the weather turns fowl outside, don’t always give in to sitting around because your pain is too much. A little movement may just go a long way to helping you feel better.
Below is a video with simple exercises you can do to keep various joints moving comfortably during weather changes.