Monday, October 5, 2020

Arthritis Weather Index: Does Barometric Pressure Really Affect Joint Pain?


 “I can feel it in my bones,” a common saying used to describe an intuition or a hunch, is more than an idiom for those who suffer from joint pain. Arthritis sufferers, in particular, take this adage to be more literal – they believe that their pain changes based on weather patterns. 

If you know someone who has arthritis, or if you are one of the 350 million people worldwide who unfortunately suffers from the condition, you may have first-hand experience with this phenomenon. In fact, the link between changes in the weather and arthritis pain has become so widely accepted that arthritis forecasts,” proprietary forecasts by meteorologists, are becoming common additions to numerous weather forecasting apps. 

So, although the anecdotal evidence is plentiful, are there actually scientific studies that can support the idea of an Arthritis Weather Index? Well, the short answer is yes, and no. 

There are over one hundred different types of arthritis, and almost as many different causes and treatments. And because there are so many types of arthritis, it can be difficult to figure out what triggers it, which may be why the research delivers mixed messages when it comes to the link between joint pain associated with arthritis and changes in the weather. 

So, let’s dissect some of the studies on the subject and take a look at what the experts have to say. 

Linking Barometric Pressure and Arthritis: The Beginning 

Although there is also evidence to suggest that temperature affects joint pain, most of the research has focused on the effects that barometric pressure may have on arthritis pain. Barometric pressure, also known as atmospheric pressure, changes with different weather systems. 

You’ve probably heard your local TV weather presenter talk about “high-pressure systems” and “low-pressure systems” – the pressure they are referring to here is barometric pressure. 

Many arthritis sufferers firmly believe that their pain worsens prior to a change in the weather, which is an indication that it may be linked to barometric pressure. One of the earliest official studies assessing the relationship between arthritis pain and weather conditions was performed in 1948, and although the results did show that patients in a climate chamber with a constant (warm) temperature and moderate humidity experienced less pain, the investigators didn’t actually control for changes in barometric pressure. Plus, it was 1948. 

What Does Recent Research Say About the So-Called Arthritis Weather Index? 

Fast forward to 1990, when one of the earliest attempts to study the link between barometric pressure and arthritis pain was performed. 4 patients were placed in a temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity-controlled environment. 3 of 4 patients reported an increase in pain whenever the pressure decreased. 

Of course, a sample size of 4 is far too small to be able to draw conclusions from, but it did pave the way for further research. 

Rather than cramming thousands of patients into a barometric chamber, sardine style, most studies performed in recent years have compared self-reported arthritic pain with the corresponding data recorded from weather stations. One such study, published in 2007, matched pain data from 200 arthritis sufferers with temperature, humidity and pressure data from their local weather stations, and found that joint pain often worsened before a change in barometric pressure occurred. 

Several other studies have reported similar findings, suggesting that there could well be a link between barometric pressure changes and arthritis pain. 

However, that’s not the whole story. There’s also a body of evidence that bursts the barometric pressure bubble, as there so often is. 

The Other Side of the Coin 

In an Australian study published in 2016, researchers assessed data from almost 350 individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Subjects were required to report their knee pain on a scale of 1-10 every 10 days over a three-month period, and this data was then compared with meteorological data for the same time period. 

Researchers found no correlation between increased joint pain and weather parameters (including barometric pressure, rainfall, wind speed, and humidity). This backed up an earlier study performed by the same group that showed no link between changes in weather and lower back pain. 

So, why doesn’t all the research show the same results? One of the reasons for this may be due to the many different causes of arthritis. It’s possible that one type of arthritis can be affected by the barometric pressure, whereas another type of arthritis is not. 

When it comes to dissecting how barometric pressure could affect arthritic pain, scientists believe that pressure changes disrupt the workings of the fluids that lubricate our joints. 

Ever noticed that your feet swell when you’re a plane? That’s another example of pressure changes affecting fluids in our bodies, and it’s likely that our joints are similarly affected. As the 

fluids in our joints respond to changes in pressure, they may inflame and irritate the arthritic joints, worsening the effects of arthritis. 

So, Does Weather Affect Arthritis? 

Although, scientifically, the jury is still out on the link between arthritis and weather, the notion seems too widespread to simply be a coincidence. Hopefully, further research can be performed to shed more light on the matter and improve arthritis sufferers’ ability to manage their pain. 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Physical Education for Kids at Home


If you have found your kids stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, they might be getting a bit antsy as they transition to online learning and spending more time in the house. They may be missing their friends and even be getting tired of watching TV (did you think this was even possible?). 

This is a great opportunity for you to start incorporating physical education (PE) games at home into your daily routines. 

The Benefits of PE in Schools 

While it’s no secret that physical activity is good for kids and their overall wellbeing, why is PE in schools so important? According to PhitWorld, kids benefit immensely from this structured group time because it: 

  • Helps reduce stress and anxiety and promotes a positive mood 
  • Helps kids look forward to exercise 
  • Teaches team building and self-discipline 
  • Teaches the importance of health and wellbeing 
  • Enforces the importance of respecting others 

During this time at home, kids do not have the same opportunity to participate in physical activity with their peers. 

However, we encourage you to try and find a way to break up the day to allow time for exercise and “PE at Home.” Not only will this get out pent-up energy and provide exercise, but it will give your child a much-needed break from their online schooling. 

PE Games You Can Play at Home 

Don’t forget to start with some basic stretches to get them (and you!) warmed up. 

We recommend trying to dedicate at least 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week to these games and exercises. 

All of these games require minimal equipment and can be done inside. If you have more than one school-aged child at home, you can create structured group time together. Whether it be just you and your child, or several of your children together, here are five ways to create "PE at Home:” 


These are a great way to really get your kid(s) moving. If you have more than one child, this one can invoke some friendly competition. Circuit training works all the muscle groups in a series of exercises. 

This circuit includes: 

  • 20 jumping jacks 
  • 10 pushups 
  • 10 sit-ups 
  • Hop from one foot to the other 10 times 
  • 10-star jumps (your child jumps and extends their arms and legs outward as far as possible while in midair) 

Have your child(ren) perform these exercises for two circuits, and time them while doing so. They are guaranteed to want to try and beat their first time at least once. 

Hopping Relay Races 

You can also easily hold relay races indoors, just be sure to create enough space. This might include moving some furniture around, or a long hallway works great. If you have other children in the house, this one is ideal. All you need for this is a small object, such as a tennis ball or an action figure. 

  1. Set up two lines that your child(ren) can hop back and forth between. With an object in hand, have your child(ren) hop from one line to the other on one foot. 
  2. Have your child(ren) pass off the item to the second person, who does the same thing. 
  3. You can do this as many times as you wish but be sure to keep the time for each race so your child(ren) can try and beat it. 

For a fun variation: instead of hopping, try skipping or crab walking instead 

Freeze Dance 

Compile a list of your kid(s)’ favorite songs. Have them dance around while you play them but freeze whenever you hit pause. With multiple kids, you can eliminate each one if they move when they are supposed to “freeze.” 

  • Tie your string or rope between two places in your home that will allow it to stay taught, hanging slightly higher than your child(ren). 
  • Stand on either side of the string and attempt to hit the balloon back and forth over the string. Try not to let it hit the ground. 

Balloon Volleyball 

All you need for this is a blown-up balloon and a piece of yarn or rope. 

Yoga for Kids 

While not as energy expending as some of the other options, yoga will get your kids’ heartbeat up and allow them to stretch their muscles out, a great option after being sedentary for many hours. 

Have your kid(s) try some of these animal yoga poses. You could have them hold each pose for 10 seconds and then switch to another one, allowing them to keep moving but still striving to get the position correct. 

Here’s a fun video you can share with your children to help them learn some new animal yoga poses: 

While your child’s routine may be different than usual, you can manage to keep or create a new routine that they can depend on. Incorporating physical education into their days while they are stuck home will benefit both of you immensely. Allowing them this structured time will help them burn calories and keep their muscles moving. They may even sleep more soundly and be in a better mood throughout this uncertain time period. 

Don’t underestimate the benefits of physical activity. Your child will thank you for it! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

5 Reasons You’ll Love Deep Tissue Laser Therapy

1.    It Works

The number 1 reason you will love laser therapy? It works! When you are suffering from a painful injury or condition, deep tissue laser therapy can provide powerful pain relief, promote tissue repair, and reduce swelling– even when other therapies have failed.


2.    It’s Fast

Deep tissue laser therapy treatments are very fast – typically lasting between 4-7 minutes, depending on the size of the area treated. The results are often fast too, with many patients reporting pain relief and improved range of motion after the very first treatment.


3.    It Lasts

The therapeutic benefits of deep tissue laser therapy extend far beyond the treatment itself. After each treatment, patients can expect notable pain relief, with the effects lasting longer after each treatment.


4.    It’s Safe

Deep tissue laser therapy can be used on most patients with minimal contraindications. With over 1 million treatments performed worldwide each month, it offers a safe alternative to opioid pain killers and surgical intervention in many cases.


5. It’s Proven

There is a significant body of evidence supporting the use of deep tissue laser therapy as both an adjunct and a standalone treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. From head to toe, researchers have concluded that laser therapy is effective for reducing pain, increasing range of motion and improving overall quality of life for patients suffering from many common and difficult-to-treat conditions    

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Healthy Back Checklist

Align Your Posture:
Engage your core by drawing your naval inward and upward. This will also help bring your low back into a neutral position and prevent it from swaying forward.
Without arching your middle or lower back, draw the shoulders blades together on the back. You will feel the hunch come out of the upper back and the chest should feel nice and open.
Draw your chin slightly back so that your ears stack right over your shoulders.
Relax your shoulders down and away from your ears

At your Desk:
Elevate your computer screen so it is at your eye level. Looking down places unnecessary strain on your neck and back.
Sit up tall and try to keep your elbows next to your ribs as you are typing, rather than reaching forward with your arms.
Get up and take a brief walk around the office at least once every hour. It is important to keep your body moving as much as possible.
Always hold your cell phone at eye level when you are texting. Avoid looking down at your phone because this strains your neck. "Text Neck" is a major problem these days.

Diet and Nutrition:
Drink plenty of water. Your vertebral discs are made mostly of water so it is important to keep them hydrated so they remain supple and strong.

Lindstrom Chiropractic Clinic offers a broad range of services to address musculoskeletal disorders, including chiropractic, of course, therapeutic massage, deep tissue laser therapy and rehabilitative exercise - all in one clinic.