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What’s the deal with weather-related joint pain?

Are you one of those people who can “predict the weather” based on how your joints feel? This method of forecasting has been discussed for years, still many chalk it up to an old wives tale or simple lore of the past. It turns out, though, that your hips and knees might know what they are talking about after all. Our bodies are complex, and the joints that help them move are no exception. As a recent report by Self magazine explains, this is particularly true in cooler New York months, though the research looking into why this is so is limited.

One theory is that colder weather makes the body conserve heat, sending more blood to organs in the center of the body, like the heart or the lungs. As a result? Blood vessels in your joints constrict, making less blood flow to those areas and leaving them cold and stiff. Others theorize that changes in barometric pressure cause an inflammatory response in the joints, leading to changes in circulation and nerve sensitivity. Neither claim has much scientific evidence, but it’s clear that sensitivity and aches do occur as weather changes.

Of course, if your joints are constantly aching, there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing something more serious than atmospheric storming. When you face these feelings, it’s important to evaluate the situation with care and consider if your joints are needing a permanent fix vs. some sunny skies.

Chronic joint pain can be an early indication that it’s time for a partial or full hip or knee replacement. Depending on your situation and overall health, this could be a simple as an arthroscopic repair or a minimally invasive procedure with quick healing time and minimal scarring. If the idea of a joint procedure seems overwhelming, keep in mind that recent advances in the field have significantly improved the way we go about them. For example, many individuals can benefit from robotic surgery and techniques, including Smart Implants and OrthoSensor Kinetic technology. With computer-assisted navigation, we use a computer as a tool to assist in the positioning and insertion of a hip or knee implant. This can result in a better, more stable and more predictable outcome and potentially increased mechanical longevity of the implant.

It can be fun to occasionally predict the weather, but when your health starts to feel like a snowstorm is approaching all year round, I want to be there to help you get things back in order. I have worked hard throughout my career to master joint care techniques and how to apply them on a case-to-case basis, so you can feel confident that you are under good care when you have a procedure under my supervision. It is always rewarding to see my patients live a more healthy and active lifestyle once their joints are free from chronic pain. If you are ready to make a change, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a consultation.

Posted in: Knee Replacement

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