What Varying Temperatures Mean for Your Joints

Cold weather can be a pain in the joints but some people can experience a cruel summer too. Both cold and warm weather can cause discomfort in different ways, for different reasons. Cold weather typically causes people to experience aching feelings, while warm weather can incite swelling. In fact, some people say the heat actually makes them feel worse than the cold. Rain or shine, we explore why you’re feeling under the weather and what to do about it. 

Joints in Cold Weather

Joints in Cold Weather

Damp, cold weather isn’t typically anyone’s favorite time of the year, but for those with joint pain it can be especially aggravating. It all comes down to barometric pressure, which is the weight of air pressing on Earth. When barometric pressure falls and humidity increases, it causes a number of reactions within the body that influence discomfort.

  1. Pressure changes may negatively impact nerves in exposed bones where cartilage has worn away.
  2. Joints may become irritated when muscles, tendons, and tissues swell as a result of less air pressing down on the body.
  3. When temperatures drop, fluid inside joints can thicken and cause them to feel stiff.
  4. Rainy days make for the best lazy days! Sitting around can increase your chances for uncomfortable joints.

How to Stay Cool Under Pressure

  • Bundle Up: Keep your body warm with layers, gloves, and socks to help decrease the effects of cold weather. Utilize thick or heated blankets and turn on the heater when you’re at home.
  • Pamper Yourself: Paraffin wax can be used as a form of heat therapy to increase blood flow, relax muscles, decrease joint stiffness, and minimize inflammation. Paraffin wax machines typically cost under $100.
  • Get Up and Move: Use low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and biking to help strengthen your muscles while being gentle on your joints. Exercise can also help you manage your weight to decrease the stress on your joints.

Joints in Hot Weather

Joints in Hot Weather

You may not immediately connect hot weather to joint pain, researchers claim it isn’t better than the alternative. Interestingly, people in beautiful, sunny San Diego reported more weather-related pain than those in Nashville and Boston–both of which are locals that experience significant cold and varied temperatures.

Experts believe that when pressure and humidity increase in warm weather, joint tissues can trigger pain when they expand and contract. In a study of people with osteoarthritis, nearly 5% said their joint pain was influenced by hot weather. While that isn’t a huge number, it still offers proof that warm weather impacts some more than others.

How to Beat the Heat

  • Drink Water: Staying hydrated lubricates the joints, helps fight inflammation, and flushes out potentially harmful toxins.
  • Keep Cool: Stay inside with the air conditioning or a fan on during especially hot days. If you must go outside, stay in the shade and wear a hat with breathable clothing.
  • Avoid Overexertion: On hot days, you may need to take it easier than you’d prefer. When you overexert yourself, you may increase the likelihood of swollen joints later.

Support Your Joints Naturally


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