I can remember when my grand pop use to say he could "feel" the rain coming. Now that I'm in my 50's, I totally understand what he was talking about. Thank you grand pop, Adnell Lee! He was the first of my grandparents to teach me about alternative ways to help the body heal. I can still remember the little talks we would have while playing checkers on the porch. He would look out into the sky and talk to me about the weather and what was about to happen. I come from a whole line of healers on both sides of my family. What a blessing!
So, why do we get joint pain when the weather changes?
Blame it on the barometric pressure: any change in pressure (weight of the air pressing against the surface of the earth) can trigger pain in our joints and in some people severe headaches.
So my grand father was right when he said he could "feel" the rain coming.
Arthritis affects the joints, including the joint lining (called the synovium) and the ligaments that are inside the joint. The tissues in the joints have nerve endings. These nerve endings feel the changes in the weather as tightness or stiffness in the joint and with that tightness many times comes pain.
What can we do to combat those joint pains?
For dealing with joint pain, I am not a proponent of taking anti-inflammatory drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and analgesics, like Tylenol. These over-the-counter medicines are often recommended to osteoarthritis patients. It is well known that chronic use of these types of medications has known to be associated with very serious side effects such as kidney and/or liver damage.
- If you have joint pain, EXERCISE IS A MUST!
Exercise really does have a positive impact on joint tissues -- if you exercise you can in fact reduce your risk of developing joint pain due to osteoarthritis rather than increase your risk. Exercise can also improve bone density and joint function, which can help prevent and alleviate osteoarthritis (a major cause of joint pain) as you age.
If you have arthritis, exercise is even more key! Research from the Harvard School of Medicine shows that people with rheumatoid arthritis, which causes joint pain, stiffness and deformities, who did weight training for 24 weeks improved their function by up to 30 percent and their strength by 120 percent. Unfortunately, many with joint pain are missing out on these potential benefits because they sit and lay down rather than move. Research also found that over 40 percent of men and 56 percent of women with knee osteoarthritis were inactive, which means they did not engage in even one 10-minute period of moderate-to-vigorous activity all week.
- Get REGULAR MASSAGES
I highly recommend getting regular massages (at least twice a month). Regular massage of muscles and joints by a professional licensed massage therapist or by self-massage at home, can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, who’s conducted a number of studies on the benefits of massage, including on people with arthritis. In Field’s research and other recent studies on the effects of massage for arthritis symptoms, regular use of the simple therapy led to improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints.
Get a massage it does a body good!!! Contact me anytime. A Massage is just a phone call away!
- A Vitamin D deficiency may be the answer.
Cartilage loss, one of the primary causes of osteoarthritis, is associated with low levels of vitamin D. So if you're struggling with joint pain due to osteoarthritis, get your vitamin D levels tested, then optimize them using safe sun exposure or consider taking a Vitamin D3 supplement. I highly recommend VitaMist supplement products. I started using their Vitamin D mist when my doctor told me I was Vitamin D deficient during a recent physical exam. After just two weeks of using the product my levels were normal. Visit my website for more information on vitamist products: http://www.myvitamist.com/id/L58352
- Take Epsom Salt Baths at least twice a week
In addition to making sure you're getting high amounts of sulfur-rich foods in your diet, such as high-quality (organic and/or grass-fed/pastured) beef and poultry (sorry all my vegan and vegetarian friends out there, I do love meat) , soak your body in magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) baths to compensate and counteract sulfur deficiency. I recommend using using about 1/2 cup in a tub of water, twice a week. It's particularly useful if you have joint problems or arthritis. Look for my next blog post on some of my favorite epsom salt recipes.
- Decrease inflammation with Frankincense, Tumeric and Omega-3
One treatment I've found to be particularly useful against arthritic inflammation and associated pain is an herb called Boswellia (also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense"). With consistent use, boswellia may help maintain steady blood flow to your joints, supporting your joint tissues' ability to boost flexibility and strength. However, "pregnant women are urged not to take boswellia, as there is some evidence that it may be potentially harmful. Although the herb is used to promote milk flow in mothers who are breast-feeding, it is best not to use this product while lactating because there is not enough evidence that it is safe for babies."
Turmeric / curcumin: A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that taking turmeric extracts each day for six weeks was just as effective as ibuprofen for relieving knee osteoarthritis pain. This is most likely related to the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin -- the pigment that gives the turmeric spice its yellow-orange color.
Animal-based omega-3 fats: These are excellent for arthritis because omega-3s are well known to help reduce inflammation. Look for a high-quality, animal-based source such as krill oil.
Yes our grandparents were right, we can feel the change in the weather. However, there are many things we can do to combat that pain and get back to feeling healthy and whole once again!