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The Weather and my Osteoarthritis

Postby Okeydokey on Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:33 am

I have chronic osteoarthritis in both knees, both hands and my left jaw. My knees no longer have any cartilage and any action means 'Bone on bone' friction. Why does the pain get worse when the weather is damp and raining. It is a noticeable increase in pain and is very much a throbbing continuos pain that goes away once the weather changes. Can I do anything to ease this pain and why does it increase?
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Re: The Weather and my Osteoarthritis

Postby Matthew Rogers on Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:07 am

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. You can find out more about the management of persistent pain from the Institute of Osteopathy website https://www.iosteopathy.org/osteopathy- ... tent-pain/ and from the charity Arthritis Action https://www.arthritisaction.org.uk/livi ... actsheets/

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, the Institute of Osteopathy

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