Are your joints telling you that Winter is approaching?

Recently, I am hearing the familiar tale from my clients with arthritis "I know the season is changing because I feel it in my joints"

Can you really feel the weather in your joints? Research from Harvard University suggests that perhaps you can. Professor Robert Jamison suggests that the body is sensitive to changes in atmospheric pressure. As the barometric pressure falls, tissues in the body may expand. As the tissues expand, they put more pressure on nerves that control pain signals.

So what can we do about this other than take a long holiday somewhere warm?

1. Wrap up Warm

Keeping the head, hands and feet well covered is important as the extremities are where we lose the most heat. Use lots of layers as heat becomes trapped between the layers keeping us warmer.

2. Change your exercise routine

It's tempting to hibernate and not do so much exercise. Whilst exercising outside may not be such a good idea, why not try indoor activities such as a yoga or tai chi class or perhaps some swimming.

3. Do you need to lose weight?

Have an honest conversation with yourself about your weight. Excess weight puts pressure on weight bearing joints such as the hips and knees.

4. Book a series of massage treatments!

Research indicates that regular massage can reduce pain for people with osteoarthritis of the knees and can reduce pain for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Herbal Remedies

As a Neal's Yard Remedies consultant I can also recommend hot baths using seaweed and arnica foaming bath, rubbing arnica salve into affected joints (this can be used during massage treatment as well!) and using joint supplement. Neal's Yard Remedies are an organic, ethical and British skincare company, you can order directly online by following the above links to have products delivered directly to your door or I can order on your behalf and items can be collected when you come for your next treatment.

In my experience of treating people with osteoarthritis, clients report finding particular pain relief when using hot stones within the massage treatment. Rather than just placing the stones on the body, I place the hot stones in my hands and massage the body with them. It is common for muscles around a joint with arthritis to tighten up, the heat from the stones encourages the tissues to relax, thus easing any muscle tension.

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