Does your aging loved one complain that their arthritis is worse when it is cold outside? Or do they tell you it is going to rain long before it does?
If so, you and your senior care aide might be wondering if the symptoms you observe are really related to the weather. It seems impossible that the temperature and air outside could affect something inside someone’s body, but studies have proven that there is truly a link between them. Here are a few interesting facts about this phenomenon, so that next time your mother tells you to pack an umbrella when it is sunny outside, you’ll do it!
Joints start hurting before it rains
Some people say that rain makes arthritis flare up, but this isn’t exactly the case. The rain and the dampness in the air are definitely a factor, but more likely than not, it is the changes in barometric pressure that cause joint pain. Barometric pressure is the weight and thickness of air, and as that drops, it allows the tissues inside our bodies to expand. This expansion causes aches and pain in the joints, causing arthritis pain.
Arthritis sufferers are like astronauts
The phenomenon described above can be likened to the physical changes the pilots and astronauts experience when they go up into the atmosphere on a regular basis. Just as your feet may swell when you are on an airplane, some people’s tissue expands even here on Earth when the pressure of the air around them changes. Whereas most of us wouldn’t notice anything different, an arthritis sufferer is very aware of these changes, due to their already sensitive joints and nerves.
Don’t sell your house and move to Arizona
If your loved one has constant arthritis pain due to the damp or cold region you live in, you might think that it would be best to just pack up all your things and head for a dry, arid, warm state like Arizona or Nevada. While this is not a terrible idea… there isn’t much proof that it will help either. If your arthritis is bad, it will follow you no matter where you go. So if you do move to some place with more stable and dry weather conditions, don’t expect the arthritis pain to go away, as the joints will always be very sensitive to changes in the air or atmosphere. Even a tiny drop in temperature of change in air pressure would be noticeable, so don’t change your whole life in an attempt to escape the arthritis.
There are ways to feel better, though
Increasing medications when bad weather is coming can help the senior to better ride out the storm of arthritis pain. Dressing warmly helps as well, because it better protects the bones and joints from getting a chill. Staying active and keeping a good attitude have also both been shown to lessen the pain associated with arthritis, even when the weather is working against you.
So, the next time your aging loved one tells you or their senior care aide that they can feel a big storm coming on, believe them. And use some of these tips to help them to feel better until the bad weather passes.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Concord, NC, please call the professional staff at Caring at Heart today at (704) 379-7510. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail