Arthritis is more than just one health condition. There are varying types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (which is an autoimmune condition). However, today we are going to focus on one particular type of arthritis – osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a musculoskeletal condition, and it is the most common form of arthritis that people experience. It develops over time, in part due to the wear and tear that we put on ourselves. However, there are other circumstances such as injuries, misalignments, hormone imbalances, and illnesses that can cause osteoarthritis to set in prematurely.
Do you find that your joints ache more in the cooler weather? If so, this is probably the form of arthritis you are dealing with. We are going to take a look at why the temperature affects osteoarthritis pain levels. We will also provide you with a suggestion for reducing your pain levels naturally.
Weather Changes that Affect Osteoarthritis Patients (and Why)
You probably find that two main weather changes affect your pain levels. The first, as we have already begun to discuss, is the temperature. The second is the barometric pressure, which most often changes rapidly when there are storms in the area. Why do these two weather conditions affect your joint pain?
Both cold and barometric pressure changes can impact the pressure felt in a joint capsule (also called the articular capsule). Without getting too medical, the joint capsule basically refers to the inner and outer layers that protect bones meeting at a joint. The outer layer is often cartilage, but it can be other forms of fibrous membrane as well. Underneath this, there an inner secreting layer. The purpose of the cartilage is to cover the surfaces of the bones that meet at the joint, so there is no rubbing or grinding.
Over time, the cartilage can begin to wear away. When this occurs, you have osteoarthritis in the joint. The body works to repair these joints, but as we age, the wear overwhelms how fast the body can restore material, especially if there is an underlying factor speeding up the degeneration.
The Relationship Between Misalignment and Osteoarthritis
Misaligned joints wear much faster than those that are properly seated. Therefore, chiropractic can both play a preventative role when it comes to osteoarthritis, and it may also slow progression if you are already dealing with pain. To learn more, schedule an appointment at Ward Chiropractic and Rehabilitation. Managing osteoarthritis pain may start with finding and correcting the underlying cause.