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  • by Nicola Boulton August 26, 2022 5 min read

    Six Ways to Avoid Cold Weather Joint Pain

    Do you suffer from aches and joint pains during the colder months? Some individuals' knees and ankles hurt whenever there is a cold. Here is what you need to do; avoid gaining weight during the cold seasons, keep hydrated, dress warmly, exercise, and eat a balanced diet. This article explains some of the ways a person can do to avoid joint pain during cold weather.

    Achy joints may be caused by various things, including the cold weather. Natural muscular tenseness occurs when the body is exposed to cold temperatures. Joint mobility and flexibility may be affected by this stress. Barometric pressure shifts, dry air, and other winter-related concerns have been linked in some studies to alterations in joints as well. While the specific reason why cold weather makes us ache is still unknown, many individuals report feeling stiffer, slower, and more painful in the winter. We feel every twitch and ache in our bodies because of the misery caused by the cold.

    What Cold Does to Your Joints

    There are various ways that cold temperatures might harm your joints:

    Muscles Tighten When Chilly

    If you've ever been injured, you know that cold therapy is one of the first therapies to reduce swelling and inflammation. Because frigid temperatures constrict blood vessels, this treatment is effective. Muscles and ligaments that support your joints operate on the same premise. Swenson et al. (1996) stated that joint mobility is restricted when the cold causes these tissues to constrict. Using the joint when your muscles are stiff increases your chance of injury and the tension placed on the joint.

    Thickening of Joint Fluid

    The fluids that lubricate and maintain smooth movement in your joints become thicker in cold temperatures.

    Air Pressure Affects the Joint's Ability to Move

    Sensory neurons detect atmospheric pressure in your joints. Your joints adapt to variations in atmospheric pressure. Outside pressure affects the joint's fluid and pressure levels. According to Smedslund et al. (2011), individuals' joints may expand and hurt due to lower air pressure in cold weather. You'll notice these changes more readily if you have arthritis, reducing the cartilage in your joints. That indicates that the nervous system is more vulnerable to environmental changes.

    Decreased Blood Flow

    Cold weather causes your body to divert part of your blood from your arms and legs to protect your vital organs from damage. Small changes in blood flow may have a significant impact on your joints.

    Relieving Joint Discomfort during the Cold Weather

    Avoid Gaining Weight During the Winter Months

    Winter and weight gain typically go hand in hand. Many people's healthy habits slip around the holidays, resulting in weight gain. Even a little extra weight may harm your knees and other joints. The new year is a fantastic opportunity to begin reining your overindulgence after the holidays. Even though the gym will be packed, several discounts are tailored to achieving your New Year's objectives. To lose a pound a week, use the golden rule of "calories in against calories out": eat 500 fewer calories than you burn daily.

    Keep Hydrated to Replace Electrolytes

    It's important to remember that going outdoors to exercise or participate in winter sports requires more energy because of the lower ambient temperatures. According to Heiss et al. (2018), muscle tiredness may rapidly lead to joint pain if you overexert yourself. Dehydration is a problem in cold temperatures. Dehydration also makes it more difficult for your body to regulate its internal temperature. Hydration and electrolyte replacement is important for meeting your body's energy requirements and ensuring that your muscles function correctly.

    Dress Warmly

    Wear a lot of clothing if you're venturing outside in the cold. Even if joint discomfort isn't the root cause, cold fingers and toes can hurt and feel painful. Keep a pair of mittens or gloves in your vehicle and work bag. Keep a spare pair of warm socks in your car if the weather cools. Similarly, dressing appropriately for the winter alters our perspective on the season. Wearing warm clothes will make it easier for you to go outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and exercise.

    Exercise a Healthy, Balanced Diet

    All year long, a nutritious diet is vital. In the colder months, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can help you stay healthy and prevent disease and the accompanying discomfort. It is still unclear whether or not particular foods might help alleviate joint discomfort, but the significance of a well-balanced diet remains. Vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and complete grains should all be included in your diet. Don't eat a lot of foods that are processed or heavy in sugar or saturated fat. Consult your doctor if you are allergic to a certain meal and need to avoid it. Maintaining a healthy weight and acquiring a broad range of vitamins and minerals are two additional advantages of a balanced diet.

    Soothe Your Senses

    According to Denissen et al. (2008), the weather may affect people's moods. During the winter, people tend to pay greater attention to aches and pains in their joints because of the lack of sunlight. One strategy to alleviate this annoyance is to relax your senses and engage in winter self-care. Joint and muscle pain lotions, ointments, and salves may provide some relief for some individuals. However, you may like the sensation these "cooling sensation" lotions produce if they don't deliver true pain relief. Baths with warm water and relaxing smells work similarly to ease muscular tension.


    Being active may help ease joint stiffness, even if it's difficult to motivate yourself to work out while in pain. Your tendons will benefit from cardiovascular exercises like yoga, riding, or even going for a stroll in the mall. Indoor swimming is also a favorite sport for folks with joint discomfort since the heated pool helps keep you warm and soothes your joints. To avoid inflicting discomfort on your body when exercising, it is crucial to not over-exhaust oneself.


    As a result of long periods of cold weather, many people have joint discomfort for many weeks at a time. One may alleviate pain if one knows how to deal with it in the best possible way. Visit your healthcare provider to learn about further treatment options for joint discomfort. When the temperature grows colder, follow your doctor's advice and take any vitamins that may be depleted, e.g., vitamin D. Winter joint pain alleviation may be alleviated with the aid of your doctor.


    Denissen, J. J., Butalid, L., Penke, L., & Van Aken, M. A. (2008). The effects of weather on daily mood: a multilevel approach. Emotion, 8(5), 662.

    Heiss, R., Hotfiel, T., Kellermann, M., May, M. S., Wuest, W., Janka, R., ... & Hammon, M. (2018). Effect of compression garments on developing edema and soreness in delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Journal of sports science & medicine, 17(3), 392.

    Smedslund, G., & Hagen, K. B. (2011). Does rain cause pain? A systematic review of the associations between weather factors and severity of pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis. European Journal of Pain, 15(1), 5-10.

    Swenson, C., Swärd, L., & Karlsson, J. (1996). Cryotherapy in sports medicine. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 6(4), 193-200.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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