It’s “common” but not “normal”.
Why does weather affect our joints and bodies?
We have baroreceptors, like barometers, in our hearts, in our joints and throughout our bodies. These baroreceptors communicate to the body what’s happening in our environment and the brain creates a response. Damaged receptors don’t work well. If these receptors are in your knees or hips for example, the body’s response may be skewed, or may be appropriate but the joint is still dysfunctional. Either way, pain often increases.
Let’s say that you have an injured knee that’s already misaligned and inflamed. When the weather is cold and damp the lubricating synovial fluid of the joint reduces in quantity. With less fluid in the joint, the misalignment and inflammation become more pronounced and the weather tips the pain “over the edge”. If your knee were not misaligned and inflamed already, this weather change wouldn’t bother your knee.
If your hip joints are filled with inflammatory tenodonitis and the weather is damp and cold, these changes in environmental barometric pressure lead to an increase in inflammation in the ligaments and tendons, leading to more pain. It pushes your hips “over the top”. If your hip were in perfect shape, this would not otherwise happen.
Are there ways to help? Yes. Helping establish better structural balance, less inflammation, fewer misalignments and overall better muscle tone and symmetry in the joints will set the stage for less vulnerability to having the change in barometric pressure being the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
How do you do this? Chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, heat therapy and exercise are all helpful. Chiropractic focuses specifically on nerves, joints and soft tissue (muscles, ligaments and tendons), so is considered by many to be the best choice for reestablishing balance that leads to less vulnerability.
Dr. Lou Jacobs is a chiropractor and acupuncture specialist in Portland, Maine. Dr. Jacobs has been helping patients for over 15 years. To schedule with Dr. Lou today, call (207) 774-6251.