But for those with joint pain, summer can sometimes bring on more aches and less mobility.
While research has been mixed as to why there is a correlation, the joint pains of summer don’t have to rule the day.
The Link Between Hot Weather and Joint Pain
Perhaps your grandmother was a walking weather reporter, always announcing it was going to rain when her knees started “acting up”. Or maybe you’ve noticed how drastic changes in temperature affect your own pain.
One study found that pain associated with fibromyalgia increases with low barometric pressure, the kind of weather that usually means a thunderstorm is imminent. Another study discovered that people with osteoarthritis often had increased pain when humidity levels were high.
And in case you didn’t know, Southeast Texas is… humid.
Why Warmer is Sometimes More Painful
While there is some question of why warmer weather means more joint pain in some people, scientists have a few theories.
- Hot summers tend to drive people with chronic pain indoors where they are less physically active.
- When the weather changes, barometric pressure drops. This causes tendons, ligaments, and muscles to expand. For those who are already experiencing pain and inflammation in their joints, changes in the weather can be especially bothersome.
- Our bodies sweat in order to cool us down when the sweat evaporates from our skin. Humid weather does not allow for that type of evaporation, causing a body’s temperature to remain high. Persistent sweating in an effort to cool down your temperature can result in dehydration. And since joint cartilage has high concentrations of water, they are ultimately affected by diminished fluid levels.
Fortunately, summer and joint pain do not have to go hand in hand. There are several ways to stay pain-free during the hottest time of the year.
Use the Air Conditioner
Powering an air conditioner all day and all night may take a chunk out of your pocketbook, but your health is worth it. Setting your thermostat at a comfortable temperature not only prevents dehydration associated with excessive sweating, but it also prompts you to stay more physically active.
Stay on top of your hydration
Like it or not, you will have to leave your air-conditioned car/house/office and venture outside. The best way to prevent joint pain associated with dehydration is to stay hydrated all day long. While 8 glasses of water are the common wisdom, your hydration needs to increase during warmer weather.
Try adding 1-2 glasses per day for better lubrication in your joints.
Imagine having to rely on the weather report instead of your aching body to tell you when a storm is coming.
Sure, staying cool and drinking fluids will help treat joint pain symptoms, but they will not cure them altogether.
Fortunately, regenerative medicine has been shown to safely and permanently increase mobility and decrease pain in joints throughout your body. Best of all, regenerative medicine can be done in our office, without surgery or downtime.
Whether you opt to treat your joint pain symptoms in the summer or treat them at the root, summer doesn’t have to be a painful time of year.