At Longevity Regenerative Institute in Oklahoma City, we know that a drop in temperature can be tough for those suffering from arthritis. There seems to be some truth in an old wives tale that aching joints can be an indicator of temperature change. But why do joints hurt in cold weather? First we need to establish that there are different types of arthritis. Arthritis can be inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Inflammatory arthritis is characterized by the presence of inflammatory white blood cells in joint effusions, and includes rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus arthritis. Non-inflammatory arthritis includes arthritis after injury, osteoarthritis, or arthritis caused by thyroid disease. Both types of arthritis flare up during cold weather conditions.
How Does Cold Weather Affect Joints?
Our pain doctor, Dr. Darryl Robinson, MD at Longevity Regenerative Medicine in OKC use proven, research-based treatments, starting with the root cause of the pain. Several research studies have shown a connection between painful joints and cold weather. These studies have found that arthritis flair-ups during cold weather may be caused by changes in barometric pressure; as the temperature drops, barometric pressure decreases, and OKC is no stranger to sharp drops in temperature. Pain doctors say that this causes the tendons, muscles, and scar tissue surrounding the joints to swell, resulting in pain. This is why we get swollen joints when it’s cold out. Additionally, cold weather causes the synovial fluid, the fluid that cushions your joints, to thicken -and in turn makes the joints stiff and more vulnerable to pain in cold weather. Another study carried out in 2015 showed that during winters, the body boosts its natural defense mechanism, meaning that the immune system begins to produce more inflammatory cells in response to inflammation than it would in higher temperatures. Dr. Darryl Robinson would agree: this increase in inflammatory cells in patients with arthritis will ultimately lead to joint inflammation and increased pain when it’s cold -especially in Oklahoma City where the weather rapidly changes.
What to do to Reduce Arthritis Pain in Cold Weather?
Cold weather can cause joint pains to increase, with intensity varying among individuals. But how can cold weather joint pain be alleviated? One common method used during the winter is staying warm and active without straining the affected joints. While this does help to some extent, it doesn’t give very much relief. A more effective way to manage cold-weather arthritis flair-ups is to get a steroid injection in the affected joint, which you can get here in OKC this winter with Dr. Robinson.
At Longevity Regenerative Institute, teroid injections are used to treat symptoms of arthritis-like pain, which is the most common symptom in both arthritis types. These injections can be used for both inflammatory and non-inflammatory arthritis, and are effective for treating both pain and inflammation. Steroid injections are also injected locally into the affected joint for targeted pain relief, and are capable of treating severe, debilitating pain. Some steroid injections kick in within hours and can last for weeks, while others kick in after a few days but last longer.
Winter is coming in unpredictable Oklahoma City, but Dr. Darryl Robinson at Longevity Regenerative Institute can help you manage your cold weather pain. If you have arthritis and are worried about the upcoming cold weather, get an appointment for your steroid injection. Why stay in pain when you can be pain-free with only an injection of a steroid by a healthcare professional? It will help you get through this winter with less pain, so that you can go about your day without worry. Call (405) 703-4950 to book your cold-weather pain relief appointment in OKC with Dr. Darryl Robinson today!
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