Do frigid temps have your joints in pain? It's a common concern and you're not alone. Even research can’t confirm exactly why this happens, but cold weather really does make joint pain worse. Some theories think the air pressure change causes swelling and pain, but whatever the cause, the fact remains.
Although it hasn’t been scientifically verified, many physicians believe this effect is real. Here are some techniques for relief from your joint pain this winter:
- Wrap those joints. Using braces and sleeves has long been a standard pain-controlling treatment to support joints with the added benefit of keeping the joint warm. For knee pain, try elastic sleeves that go all around the knee.
- Maintain your exercise routine. If lousy weather puts a damper on your physical activity, look for low-impact alternatives like an elliptical, exercise bike or training with light weights. A heated pool can also help. Exercise keeps those joints loose and flexible.
- Stay warm. Not surprisingly, dressing in layers and taking other steps to keep warm can cut down on pain triggered by the cold.
- Take your medicine. Over-the-counter pain relievers with acetaminophen or ibuprofen (like Tylenol and Advil) can be a good remedy for temporary pain spikes.
- Look at the big picture. Cold weather can make joint pain worse, but its cause is the same as in the summer. The same strategies you use to minimize joint pain year-round should remain priorities now, including weight loss and muscle-strengthening exercises.
At AdventHealth, we recognize that joint pain is more than a nuisance when it gets in the way of doing what you enjoy. Whether you’re looking for help preventing joint pain in the winter or year-round, we’ve got the experience and expertise to help you take control and feel like yourself again.