Top Reasons for Cold Weather Joint Pain and How to Help Stop the Aches

January 11, 2020 12:55 am Published by Leave your thoughts

You are definitely not alone if you feel like your body hurts more during winter. Of all your joints, the ones that tend to be the achiest in winter are the weight-bearing joints in your hips, back, knees and ankles. However, any body part or joint can be affected—people living with chronic joint disorders, like arthritis, can attest to that. Though it’s not exactly a scientific equation, factor in your age, health and physical condition, and you’re either in for a painful winter or a comfortable one.

The flare-up of joint pain triggered by the winter cold is no laughing matter. Below are some of the possible reasons why cold weather brings on joint pain, as well as some things you can do to help ease your aches.

Reasons cold weather may affect your joints

Many people living in Napa County, CA have noticed that cold causes joint pain. You know it happens, but not why. Here’s some insight:

  • Barometric pressure: As the barometric pressure changes, so will the feeling in your joints. This is the weight of the atmosphere that is always around you. This pressure often falls before cold weather arrives. The drop causes the expansion of tissues in the body, which can lead to joint pain.
  • Nerve sensitivity: In winter, many people experience an increase in sensitivity of nerves in their joints. Existing injuries can cause the nerves in the hurt joint to become hypersensitive to the change to cold weather. The injured joint picks this up more easily due to scarring, adhesions and inflammation.
  • Moving less: Inactivity during winter is very common. It’s cold, and all you want to do is curl up on the couch wrapped in a warm blanket. However, long periods of inactivity can be detrimental to joint health.
  • Joint fluid: Cold weather may cause joint fluid to become thicker than normal. This fluid acts as a shock absorber, but winter can make it more viscous and unable to flow as freely. The result is often stiff, creaking and painful joints.
  • Cold and humidity: If you live in a climate where cold weather and high levels of humidity come together, this combination may be harming your bone and cartilage cells.

Helpful suggestions

If your joint pain gets worse in the winter, check out the following helpful recommendations:

  • Stay warm: Make sure your home is heated, and bundle up in warm clothing and blankets. Be sure to warm up your car before driving off.
  • Stay active: Simple movements like stretching and jogging in place will keep joints limber. Whatever you do, though, don’t overdo stretching or exercising.
  • Physical therapy: Talk to a physical therapist, as joint and body pain issues are different for everyone. The most common method of managing joint pain with PT in winter is creating heat in your body. Contact your doctor if you need help putting together a treatment plan to manage joint pain.

The cold weather may cause joint pain in Napa County, CA—just know that the team at Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy is here to help when it does. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

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