Winter is here and that means cooler temperatures. It can also mean more pain, especially from arthritis. Many people say they can predict rain or cold weather because they feel it in their joints.
What Causes Pain in Colder Weather
Scientific studies have not proven definitively why or if weather impacts joint pain, but in a 2014 study of people with osteoarthritis, 67 percent said they were weather sensitive and had more joint pain during colder weather.
The change in barometric pressure might be to blame. A 2015 study showed wet, winter days are worse for people with arthritis. Barometric pressure changes can cause expansion and contraction of tendons, muscles, and other tissues, causing pain.
The research also showed the impact of humidity on pain was stronger when it got colder.
Lower temperatures can also cause joint fluids to thicken, making them more stiff and sensitive to pain during movement.
Cold Weather Often Means Less Exercise
But the actual cause might not be the weather itself, but the fact people are often less active when it’s cold, rainy, or snowy. Physical activity relieves arthritis pain, so no activity can mean more pain.
Cooler weather can also mean a drop in mood for many people, lowering their tolerance for pain.
How to Stay Comfortable in Cold Weather
When the temperature drops, you might need to make some changes to your routine.
Do what you can to stay warm. Dress in layers, heat your home, and warm up your car before driving. A heating pad, heat pack, or hot water bottle for painful joints can help muscles relax.
Stay active. It’s tempting to do nothing when it’s cold, but inactivity can increase some types of pain. Make sure to warm up and loosen joints before exercising.
It isn’t fun to have arthritis pain in any weather. At Flexogenix, programs can help you avoid surgery and stop the progression of osteoarthritis and other ailments. Contact us today.