Yes, autumn is beautiful. However, it also means joint pain could be just around the corner. Discover 6 simple ways to prepare joints for seasonal weather changes.
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Crisp leaves, brisk mornings, and sweater weather. That’s right, it’s fall! The oppressive summer heat has faded, but now there’s another hurdle on the horizon—seasonal weather changes. While we love the colorful autumn leaves, the temperature and pressure changes often mean inflammation and joint pain.
That’s why it’s important to prepare your body as much as possible ahead of time. We’ve already talked a lot about relieving winter joint pain, but even the seasonal weather changes before winter can be problematic. Read on and discover six simple ways to prepare your joints for seasonal weather changes.
Why Seasonal Weather Changes Cause Joint Pain
For those with inflammatory conditions that impact joints, seasonal weather changes are a literal pain. While the majority of issues happen in the fall and winter, those who live in areas with year-round turbulent weather (Hello, Midwest!) may experience joint discomfort every time a storm rolls through. That’s because several factors associated with weather changes can affect joints:
- Barometric pressure
- Shortening/lengthening of daylight hours
- Seasonal allergens
Some people are more sensitive to pressure changes, while others are particularly affected by changes in temperature. Either way, it’s generally understood that rapid changes in any of these areas can cause swelling and/or sensitivity in those with compromised joints.
Additionally, there are several different mechanisms that may explain the various types of joint pain from seasonal weather changes. WebMD says, “It could be that when the cartilage that cushions the bones inside a joint is worn away, nerves in the exposed bones might pick up on changes in pressure.” That could explain why those with osteoarthritis experience pain from weather changes.
For example, a survey of 200 individuals diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee found that each temperature drop of ten degrees (combined with low barometric pressure) increased pain for the participants. Conversely, a different study looking at those with osteoarthritis of the hip found that increased barometric pressure and humidity caused worse pain and stiffness. Either way, changes in these variables are clearly a problem for those with joint issues.
If your doctor has already developed a protocol to help you manage joint pain (medications, physical therapy, etc.) then it’s important to follow their recommendations as closely as possible. However, there are several additional ways you can prepare your joints for seasonal weather changes.
Regulate Your Body Temperature
We almost simply wrote, “Stay Warm!” However, drastic increases in temperature can cause issues for certain individuals as well. Anyone who’s traveled from a cold, dry climate to a hot, humid climate will know what we mean.
Whatever the case may be, you’ll want to develop strategies to help regulate your body temperature whenever necessary. If you experience joint pain from cold temperatures…
- Stay warm with gloves, sweaters, hats, etc.
- Limit outdoor activities and stay inside where it’s warm
- If you must go outside in the cold, invest in high-quality outerwear to avoid losing body heat.
If you experience joint pain from hot temperatures…
- Stay cool with light clothing.
- Limit outdoor activities during the hottest hours and spend time inside with the AC on.
- If you must go outside in the heat, wear a sunhat to avoid additional warmth from the sun and drink plenty of water.
Stay Hydrated to Keep Joints Healthy
Regardless of whether your joint pain is associated with hot or cold temperatures, staying hydrated is always good for your joints. When you’re dehydrated, your joints don’t have the necessary lubrication to function properly. It’s particularly easy to become dehydrated during warm months because your body can lose water easily by sweating. If you’re not drinking enough water to offset that loss, your joints may pay the price.
It’s also important during cold months to avoid stiff or “creaky” joints. The fluid in your joints, known as synovial fluid, can become thicker when it’s cold. That makes it harder to move around as easily, which also makes it harder for it to do its job—absorb shock.
The Spine & Orthopedic Center even says, “Drinking water can stimulate our production of synovial fluid (in charge of lubricating the cartilage), plus, reduce inflammation around the joint. And it encourages the growth of new cells in the cartilage tissues.” So, while drinking water won’t alleviate joint pain, it WILL improve the overall health of your joints which means less pain overall.
Eat a Nutritious Diet and Limit Inflammatory Foods
A healthy diet may look different for everyone. However, it’s important to avoid inflammatory foods while getting plenty of vitamins, minerals, and healthy carbs, fats, and proteins. Some inflammatory foods you’ll want to avoid or limit include:
- Sugar and/or High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Artificial trans fats
- Refined carbohydrates
- Excessive alcohol
Again, a healthy diet could look different for everyone. However, there are several anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods you might consider adding to your diet to prepare your joints for seasonal weather changes:
- Low-sugar berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.)
- Fatty fish with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, herring, etc.)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
- Green tea
Use Nutritional Supplements
Many of the anti-inflammatory foods we mentioned also include a variety of important vitamins and minerals. However, it’s not always practical (or even possible) to get all the essential vitamins and minerals you need from your diet. Plus, there are several nutritional supplements that provide beneficial compounds you might NEVER find in food.
That’s why using a supplement is so helpful. By bridging any nutritional gaps, you’ll ensure your body has precisely what it needs to keep inflammation at bay and avoid or reduce joint pain.
It’s unlikely you’ll find CBD in any of your food. However, considering its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, we highly recommend using a CBD supplement for anyone who deals with joint pain. Plus, on top of modulating pain receptors and reducing inflammation, it works with your ECS (endocannabinoid system) to help maintain balance or homeostasis. Also, keep in mind that full-spectrum CBD is more beneficial for joint pain than CBD isolates.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
High-quality omega-3 supplements have been found to help with stiffness, swelling, and joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. In one study designed to evaluate the effects of Omega-3s on RA activity, researchers noted “Significant improvement in the patient’s global evaluation and in the physician’s assessment of disease.” Additionally, participants who had taken Omega-3 supplements were able to significantly reduce their use of traditional analgesic medications (Aleve, ibuprofen, etc.).
Vitamins A, C, E, D, and K
Each of these vitamins provides important health properties for overall physical and mental wellness.
Magnesium, Calcium, Folate, and Magnesium
While there are additional minerals that may help improve joint health and prepare your joints for seasonal weather changes, these minerals are particularly important. The Arthritis Foundation includes them in their Vitamin and Mineral Guide for Arthritis along with several other beneficial vitamins and minerals.
If you’re already on any prescription medications, you’ll want to discuss adding any supplements to your regimen with your doctor before getting started.
Stay Active and Don’t Forget to Stretch
During colder months, it’s easy to become less active. However, remember that synovial fluid we mentioned earlier? Being less active means the synovial fluid in your joints will become even thicker and more viscous. So, while it’s tempting to stay huddled up in a ball when it’s cold, it’s essential that you stay active and stretch.
That doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon. Simple things like walking, yoga, or even tai chi could be enough to stay limber, promote lymphatic circulation, and keep your muscles and bones strong. Just remember to avoid high-intensity exercises that may stress joints too much.
Massage Painful Joints with CBD Gel
If the joint pain has already begun to set in, then massaging the affected joints with an anti-inflammatory topical can ease the pain and help reduce inflammation. CBD topicals are particularly useful because they let you apply the anti-inflammatory gel precisely where you need it. Gently massage the gel on affected joints, and relief can be felt within 15-30 minutes.
If the affected joints are hard to get to, there’s nothing wrong with combining a CBD Gel and CBD Oil for extra relief. For those with pain in their hips, applying a topical may not be practical. However, having the option of using a CBD gel on your hands in combination with CBD Oil for hip pain is perfectly fine. Plus, by using both CBD Oil and CBD Gel, you’re helping your body reduce pain from the inside and the outside.
Manage and Reduce Joint Issues Before They’re A Problem
Seasonal changes should be exciting, not something you dread. Be sure to check out our CBD Relief Bundle that includes a topical for targeted relief and oil for relief from within.
You don’t deserve to live in pain, so consider trying CBD to experience joint relief today. Contact us with questions and start feeling better and living more.