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seniorscootersHave you ever heard anyone tell you their arthritis is much worse in the cold damp weather?

Is it just an old wives tale or is there any truth in it…..

A recent study found that 67.9 percent of arthritis sufferers were aware of an increase in joint pain with the change in weather.

So far there is no conclusive agreement amongst scientists as to the precise mechanism of this phenomenon but many studies have been undertaken. The most popular theory, which has been proposed by professor Robert Jamieson of Harvard University, is that a change in barometric, or atmospheric pressure is the cause. Barometric pressure is the force exerted onto a surface by the weight of the atmosphere at any given point. As the barometric pressure drops as it would in cold and damp weather there is less force exerted on the body which can allow the bodies tissues to expand, this in turn can put pressure on the nerves that control pain signals. Some people have even claimed to be able to predict a hurricane such is the effects of this climate change.

So what do we do?

Don’t be tempted to hibernate and avoid the cold weather, wrap up warm this winter and keep the joints moving gently. Wear loose layers to trap the heat, cover your head and neck and have waterproof footwear. Plan regular activities such as swimming (the thought of it in winter is always worse than actually doing it!) or a walk round the shops or just to a cafe. Maybe dancing to your favourite music at home or indoor exercise classes such as yoga or Pilates. Anything to avoid periods of inactivity which will cause the joints to stiffen up even more. And when you do sit down to watch a good film r read a book take a minute for a gentle stretch and move the legs.