If you have suffered from arthritis for a while, you may have noticed that your joint pain tends to get worse during the Winter months. Cold weather may not affect everyone’s joints this way, but it is common enough that there must be something causing it. Experts speculate that there are a few different reasons for this. The synovial fluid inside of joints help lubricate the joint, which could “thicken up” during cold weather. The cold weather can also slow blood circulation and the nerves inside the joint become more sensitive to the changes in weather. The most likely culprit is the sudden drop in barometric pressure, which will cause joints to swell and cause more pressure on the nerves which will increase pain.
If cold weather does tend to affect your joints, the best way to combat this is to stay warm. This includes bundling up, electric heating pad, or even a hot bath. Stretching and exercising the joint will also warm the joints up and increase the circulation.
Joshua White PA-C