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Online clinic on arthritis & pain management - Oct 2017

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Is Arthritis more painful when the weather is cold and damp?

Postby Jaspa1968 on Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:13 pm

My husband has a problem with Osteo Arthritis and is experiencing more pain now that the weather has changed and is colder and damp. He was only diagnosed about 18 months ago and would be gratful for tips on pain management. The problem is in his hip area at the back.
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Re: Is Arthritis more painful when the weather is cold and d

Postby Dr Sandeep Bawa on Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:43 am

physiotherapy, hot baths, exercises in the swimming pool will all help.

analgesia if required, but mobility is important
Dr Sandeep Bawa
Consultant Rheumatologist - MBChB, MRCP, MSc (Sports Exercise Medicine)
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Re: Is Arthritis more painful when the weather is cold and d

Postby Institute of Osteopathy on Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:45 pm

It used to be thought that arthritis was just wear and tear in the joints and simply a product of the aging process. However, research is now demonstrating that arthritis is a little more complicated than that. Arthritis is now considered to be a ‘persistent’ or ‘chronic long-term condition’. In persistent pain conditions such as arthritis, the pain nerves can become a little more sensitive, which means that they may trigger off a little easier than normal. You could think of this as a sensitive car alarm that goes off in error when someone walks past and it is hypothesised that this is the reason that some people find their pain gets worse in cold or wet weather.

This can be unpleasant, but doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing yourself any harm simply by moving and you should keep active if possible.

Persistent pain is very common and effects over 14 million people in the UK alone. It often does not respond to conventional medical interventions and needs a different kind of approach, but there are many things that you can do to manage your pain yourself with the support of your medical team, your family and loved-ones.

Keeping active, performing exercises and stretches can help, learning to pace your activities so that you don’t trigger a flare-up of your pain as well as setting goals and priorities are all very important and can help you to maintain a fulfilling lifestyle. Your GP might be able to refer you to a cognitive pain-management department near you that can teach you techniques that you can use to manage your symptoms yourself.

I know all this can sound a little scary, but there is hope and once you have found the right approach for you, I’m sure things will improve.

Matthew Rogers
Head of Professional Development | Registered Osteopath
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Re: Is Arthritis more painful when the weather is cold and d

Postby Arthritis Action on Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:31 pm

Matthew is spot on in his advice about increasing daily activity or exercise levels.
It is important to find ways to increase levels in a way that you enjoy and that suits your
current fitness levels.

Keeping a note how you feel during or after exercise will help you know when to exercise and when to rest. We call this pacing. It will also allow you to become familiar with how your body responds to increasing activity level.

If in any doubt, it is best to speak with your GP, Osteopath or Physiotherapist who can advise you
on safe and effective exercises.

Here's a link to some exercises on our website: https://www.arthritisaction.org.uk/livi ... exercises/
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Re: Is Arthritis more painful when the weather is cold and d

Postby Tracy Corbett on Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:08 pm

You're right, arthritis can be more painful when it's cold. Possibly that's partly because we move less and partly because we feel stiffer in cold weather.

Generally, movement is pain-relieving; joints don't like to be immobile. Regular exercise such as gentle rhythmic exercise, like walking or cycling; as well as gentle stretching exercise (yoga or pilates) can be helpful. Your physio may be able to advise you on other pain-relieving methods such as appropriate use of heat, taping, manual therapy (massage, joint mobilisations).
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