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I don’t know about you but over the last few days I have been getting that Autumnal feeling in my bones and joints? The change in seasons can affect many people but in particular those who are suffering from chronic pain, and in particular joint pains. You may think that there’s no truth in the fact that some people’s aches and pains can forecast weather change. But studies do confirm that weather conditions can impact the body in various ways, including triggering a flare-up of past injuries.

It is a well known fact in the Fibromyalgia world that we all suffer from the seasonal changes especially the Autumn/ Winter ones. Being prepared for this can help your body to adjust a bit quicker to the change in temperature.

It’s not just Fibromyalgia sufferers who complain of change of seasons pain. Studies have shown that people suffering from joint pain, headaches, arthritis, stomach pain, back pain, and CFS may experience flare ups or increases in pain correlated with changes in barometric pressure and other factors when temperatures go from warm to cool or cold.

Fibromyalgia flare-ups – Arthritis Care explain it perfectly – “A flare is the worsening or exacerbation of symptoms that already exist,” says Daniel Clauw, MD, professor of anesthesiology, rheumatology and psychiatry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Patients use different timeframes for what they consider a flare, but it’s generally several days or weeks of worsening symptoms.”

Extreme fatigue, aching joints, tender muscles, and general weariness can interrupt your day and leave you worrying about your deteriorating condition. Luckily, worsening symptoms usually have a distinct cause, and with the right approach, they can be treated directly and effectively. Some flare-ups can last a few days to a few weeks and there are several of causes for them.

Colder weather seems to make symptoms worse whereas a climate where the temperature remains warmer seems to be less painful for people with rheumatic conditions. Changes in the barometric pressure may make your tendons, muscles, and any scar tissue expand and contract, and that can create pain in joints affected by arthritis.

A damp climate can also worsen symptoms, with a combination of cold and damp (from sleet and snow) which can be the most aggravating climate. So, avoid holidays in Alaska or the Midwest. Changes in the barometer can also trigger symptoms.

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A few tips on how to get through the change of seasons a little easier are –

  1. Start a diary and make a note of how your symptoms change so you are ready for the next season. No matter how trivial your entries might seem: write down everything you did, everything you ate, anything that was worrying you, dietary changes, medication changes, and so on. 
  2. Move your workout indoors until you adjust to the temperatures outside.
  3. Let warm water comfort you by taking a swim in a heated pool or having a warm bath.
  4. Remember to take your supplements in particular Vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D might play a role in how sensitive you are to arthritic pain.
  5. Consider other supplements like Fish Oil or Krill Oil ( all the benefits of Fish Oil but without the after taste) as “Omega-3 Fatty acids do have some benefit because they seem to reduce the level of inflammation.
  6. Get a Massage – you can’t beat a massage when your muscles are getting tight due to pain. Go on, treat yourself, your worth it!
  7. Look after your Immune System, with some supplements made specifically made to help with this.
  8. Pull out those heated blankets. I always say heat, heat and more heat for my aches and pains. The Far Infrared Blanket below has been shown to improve circulation, relieve muscle pain and help rebuild injured tissue
Lifemax Far Infrared Heated Lap Blanket £39.99

Source: Every Day Health, Aica, Arthritis Foundation, Health Control

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