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Do you ever feel like your aches and pains are a better predictor of an oncoming storm than the weatherman’s forecast? According to the Arthritis Foundation, the weather really does affect your joints, especially for arthritis sufferers. Researchers explain barometric pressure, which decreases with increased elevation, temperature, and humidity triggers joint pain.
In fact, one experiment found pressure in the hip joint actually threw off the ball of the hip joint by one-third of an inch. Another found two-thirds of people living with chronic joint pain believe there is a link between pain and changes in weather, reports The Weather Channel.
The Guardian explains theories connecting pain and weather are not new. They date to 400 BCE. In the more than 2,400 years since Hippocrates linked certain illnesses to the changing seasons, caretakers, doctors, and pain sufferers have developed home remedies to treat chronic joint pain.
- Gin-soaked raisins: This home remedy dates to medieval England when gin was used against the bubonic plague. Healthline recommends soaking golden raisins in gin, letting the liquid evaporate, and then eating the raisins daily to prevent pain from arthritis.
- Onion tea: Eastern Europeans have long relied on the antioxidants in onions to relieve arthritis pain. Healthline suggests peeling and slicing a large onion and then boiling the slices in 1 1/2 cup of water for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid, add lemon, ginger, or honey to taste, and drink hot.
- Thyme: This Mediterranean herb is not only tasty but also anti-inflammatory. For the best benefits, Healthline says to add the herb, fresh or dried, to fish, meat, and vegetables. You may also drink it boiled in water as a hearty tea.
- Ginger tea: Reader’s Digest reports ginger mimics the drugs that fight arthritis pain by curbing pain-causing chemicals part of the body’s inflammatory response. Instead of buying packaged tea, make your own by simmering slices of ginger for 15 minutes in a cup of boiling water.
- Lavender: Smelling pleasant, soothing aromas like lavender can alter the perception of pain, says Reader’s Digest. This works by reducing the stress hormone cortisol and therefore making you feel relaxed and less aware of pain. Marjoram, rosemary, and peppermint are also known to reduce pain.
- Cayenne cream: Researchers have found that a compound in cayenne, known as capsaicin, reduces the substance that transmits pain signals to the brain. Reader’s Digest recommends making your own home remedy by mixing a few dashes of ground cayenne with 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil. Use gauze to apply the cream to your aching joints several times a day.
- Walk barefoot: This simple home remedy is thought to reduce pressure on the knee joints. Reader’s Digest says that when you cannot go barefoot, opt for shoes that mimic the foot’s natural arch and heel contour.
- Cloves: Reader’s Digest says the winter spice clove is an excellent anti-inflammatory that interferes with the bodily processes that trigger arthritis. Cloves are also a good source of anti-oxidants, which are important for slowing damage to the bones and cartilage.
Now that you know the link between weather and joint pain is real, be proactive. When you know a weather system is coming, use these home remedies to prevent and treat joint pain.