Ever notice how everything just hurts more when it’s cold outside? It’s no surprise! Cold weather is thought by many to have a negative effect on joints, likely to cause pain. In this blog, we’ll discuss what causes this, and we’ll suggest some actions you can take to help soften the sting of winter’s chill.
Why Does the Cold Hurt?
While many would agree that the cold has a notable effect on joint pain and stiffness, there’s not one universally accepted reason why. But there are some common theories.
- Thickening of joint fluid. The fluid in your joints, called synovial fluid, allows your body to absorb shocks. But during the cold, the fluid thickens, and the fluid doesn’t flow as smoothly. This can cause the joints to become stiff.
- Barometric pressure. When it gets cold, the barometric pressure—the atmospheric pressure—drops, causing the tendons, ligaments, and tissues to expand. This can cause pain.
- Increased nerve sensitivity. If a patient has experienced joint injuries before, the scarred tissue may become irritated in the cold weather.
- Lack of activity. One possible cause of joint pain in cold weather is simply because people become less active in the cold weather.
How to Weather the Cold
Other than bundling up and drinking hot cocoa, what can you do to help your joints during the cold weather? We have a few ideas.
- Stay warm. Dress in layers, and don’t forget your scarf and coat when you’re leaving the house. Staying warm out there can go a long way to helping your joints feel better.
- Stay active. It’s tempting to stay indoors when the temperature drops. But it’s vitally important to remain active. Gear up and go for a walk or run. Hit the gym. Keep moving, and your joints will thank you for it.
- Stay fit. We all gain a few over the holidays, but staying fit can go a long way to helping your joints feel as painless as possible.
- Stay wrapped. If you’re feeling pain in your joints, such as your knees or elbows, you might feel some relief by wrapping up during your exercise.
- Stay hydrated. We can become dehydrated in cold weather, too. Keep a water bottle with you, keep it filled, and drink from it frequently.
When to See a Chiropractor
There’s a difference between seasonal discomfort or creakiness and chronic pain. If you’ve been experiencing persistent pain, it’s a good idea to have a checkup with a doctor. We encourage you to contact us, and we’ll be happy to help. Call (425) 277-2225 today to book an appointment.