People and pets fight cold related pains – learn your options

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Center for Pain Management doctor, Dr. Ram Pasupuleti said he sees more pain patients in the winter months. 

About 80 percent of his patients deal with arthritis, and in the winter time, that cold can magnify their pain level. 

“There’s scientific reason to it. When the temperature drops, the joints in the body, they shrink. The blood supply to the joints gets less, and that’s what causes more pain, said Pasupuleti. 

Dr. Pasupuleti said it may come as a surprise to some people that at-home tricks they can add to their daily routines help out much more than any pill he could prescribe.

“I tell my patients to change their routine a little and take a hot shower first thing in the morning,” said Pasupuleti. “It makes a big difference to all my arthritis patients. That morning stiffness gets better really quickly with a hot shower.”

He also sees more weather related slips and falls more in the winter months as well as conditions like Raynaud’s – a problem that causes decreased blood flow to the fingers – worse.  

“What I ask Raynaud’s people is to soak their hands in the hot water with Epsom Salt,” said Pasupuleti. “That does very well for Raynaud’s as well as arthritis in the hands both.”

All Creatures Animal Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Pat McGrath said the cold weather effects pets as well. He said there are ways you can look for these signs in pets such as reluctance to get up in the morning, prolonged stretching and avoiding the steps.

“The problem is that pets hide their pain,” said McGrath. “Animals don’t tell us that they hurt. Animals, especially when the weather changes, storm fronts come through, there are barometric pressure changes, it’s going to rain, it’s gonna snow, they hurt more than normal.”

He said just like with people’s pain, pets don’t have to live with their aches. 

People can turn to their vets for pet acupuncture and laser therapy to heal stiff joints and arthritis. 

“Nowadays, there’s lots of medications that can help us treat them,” said McGrath. “There’s lots of different drugs, drug cocktails. It’s just like finding the right drug mix for a person. We’re looking for quality of life. We want them to feel better.”