My grandmother and her mother before her suffered dreadfully from arthritis, as did my own mum. And now, sadly, I do too. It’s definitely a family condition passed on through our genes. Even my father had it, however his much milder symptoms were more due to the effects of a ‘sporting life’ than to his genetic makeup.
Like my dad, I also suffer from arthritis caused by a former sports habit too, having injured my knee joints, hips and rotator cuffs (among other body parts) over years playing competitive badminton at a provincial and national level. They ache and cause me a lot of pain, especially if the weather’s cold.
But whatever the reason people suffer from this debilitating condition, we can take some comfort that there are ways to help alleviate some of the pain. A lot of the time, arthritis pain flares up when there’s a change in the weather. In my case, it certainly seems that way. If it’s rainy and damp, or snowy and cold, even if the weather turns hot and humid. I guess that means I suffer pretty much all the time! Ha!
If you’re like me and do find the weather aggravates your arthritis, the following tips may help you to alleviate your discomfort to some degree. We know we can’t control the weather but we can control how it affects us. Apart from any medications you may take for your pain, you may wish to try the following simple solutions. Ask your doctor for personalized advice, of course!
Cold or Damp Weather Triggering Your Arthritis Pain?
- Use a hot water bottle, warm pack or heating pad to soothe aching joints
- Take a warm bath or shower to relieve your pain
- If your hands are achy, sore or stiff, soak them in a basin of warm water or wrap in a moist hot towel
- If you go outdoors, dress in multiple layers and cover any exposed skin
- Use an arthritis cream or spray that gives a sense of heat when rubbed or applied to your joints
Hot Weather or High Humidity Making You Feel Like Your Joints Are On Fire?
- Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and limiting sugary drinks – they contribute to dehydration and being well hydrated helps reduce inflammation throughout the body
- Soak in a cool shower or bath, or take a gentle swim in a cool pool, the sea or a lake if possible
- Spend less time in the sun, seek out some shade to keep your body and achy joints out of the heat
- Try a cooling ointment or spray that gives off an icy cold sensation wherever you apply it to.
You may also wish to try some other natural remedies that are readily available to use in conjunction with the above solutions. Again, ask your doctor for their advice on this.
For further information about complementary therapies for your arthritis pain and more, you may want to visit Arthritis Canada Society.