Does Cold Weather Make My Joints and Back Hurt?

Wednesday, 07 October 2020 20:51
Does Cold Weather Make My Joints and Back Hurt?

As temperatures drop during the winter months, you may be experiencing joint pains that keep you from moving around and typically stay indoors when it’s cold and rainy outside. Lounging around indoors is a perfect excuse for ditching your outdoor exercises, but your inactive joints will suffer. When you notice pain and discomfort in areas of legs, knees, arms, shoulders, and other joints that have less blood flow, it is hypothesized that those areas get inflamed due to a change in atmospheric pressure, causing poor circulation and increased nerve sensitivity. 


There is no scientific explanation for why temperatures affect your joints, while some believe the reasons behind joint pain to be linked to barometric pressure is the leading cause of tendons and muscles surrounding tissues to expand in the confined space of your body. A case study in 2015 on the influence of weather conditions on joint pain in older people with osteoarthritis, concluded that the association between pain and daily average weather condition suggested a casual relationship between joint pain and weather variable, however, the knowledge about the relationship is still not confirmed. Physicians and therapists are pursuing further research to better understand these concepts and how to manage fluctuations in pain. 

How Can I Reduce Cold Weather Joint Pain?

Although there is not a definitive answer to what causes joint pain in cold weather, here are ways to help relieve and prevent joint pain.

Warm-Up Exercises

When you get up in the morning, spend five minutes or more stretching out your arms and leg muscles. Having a routine can increase your range of motion in your joint and supply better blood circulation throughout your joints. When your body is feeling aches and pains during a cold winter day, having a light stretch can help alleviate muscular tension throughout and reduce future pains.

Take Breaks When You Exercise

When you decide to exercise outside, remember to stretch your muscles beforehand to warm your muscles and joints. If you begin exercising with a stiff body, your joints will likely hurt and cause potential injuries. It’s important when jogging and walking on a winter day to keep your joints in motion because if your body gets cold, your joint will start to hurt. Make sure you cool down properly after you finish your exercise by doing some stretching to reduce muscle tightening that occurs shortly after exercising. Even treat yourself to a hot shower to relieve any joint pains you may be experiencing. 

Consider Exercising Indoors

There are days when the weather makes it impossible to exercise outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you should throw out your exercise schedule in defeat. Consider preparing an indoor exercising routine for those extra colds and rainy days. Investing in exercise equipment if you have room can provide ways to keep you on track when you have to stay indoors. If buying equipment is not in your future, there are plenty of muscle building exercises on the internet that can help you exercise.

Dress Warmly Going Out

To ease the shock of cold weather when you go out, dress your body in a layer of warm clothing to stay warm and protect yourself from those frostbite winds

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Body weight can add to the cause of muscle joint pains in the winter month. Because your joints, like knees, support an amount of your body weight, maintaining a healthy weight can decrease the stress on your joints and have you living a healthier lifestyle. Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and staying positive all contribute to the reduction of joint pain.

Why Should I Consult a Chiropractor?

If you are experiencing any unusual or new symptoms with your joint such as increased pain and swelling, it may be a good idea to consult with your chiropractor. Monitto Chiropractic can help you with muscle tension and joint pain by reducing restriction and misalignments in your spine, and other joints. These adjustments can improve spinal motion and improve your joints from inflammation. Visit our clinic today for a consultation and let us assist you with your health. You can contact us via email or phone using the form to request an appointment.