Does Cold Weather Affect Joint Pain?

Winter is officially here. It may not look like it on the west coast of the United States, but the blizzards, and severe weather warnings for the rest of the country are all too real. With no end in sight for the snow and cold conditions, what effects does this severe weather have on the health of us all? Better still, what effect does it have on our joints and muscles, especially if we have a preexisting condition such as arthritis where cold conditions can really amp up the pain.


Feeling the weather in your bones before it actually arrives is some what of an old wives’ tale, but there really is some truth to it. Scientists and doctors alike, contribute this pain or the notion of the onset of cold weather to barometric pressure changes within the body.

It’s actually not all that uncommon for many people to associate increased pain in their joints and limbs to the weather outside. There is no complete agreement among scientists that weather causes pain, but a common theory is that changes in pressure can cause joints and bones to become inflamed or slightly displaced, causing discomfort to the affected person. When the weather begins to change, usually before a drastic weather switch, the air pressure can be felt within the body itself. Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us, this pressure pushes against the body all the way to the deep tissue and joints in turn not allowing them to expand or move with full range of motion.

Pain, stiffness and swelling is caused by those change in pressure, and when the weather finally strikes, it often times gets worse. There really is truth to the fact that pain is a good predictor of the weather, and that the weather affects the joints in a direct fashion. It’s no secret that cold weather affects us all, whether we have a condition like arthritis or not. Depending on the severity of the cold, we often feel it in our bones, whether we are wrapped up or not. The weather certainly has its way of making us know that it’s around, sometimes before it’s even here.

Chiropractic treatment is the best form of managing any joint pain, stiffness or soreness. Chiropractors specialize in aligning the joints and making pain a thing of the past, or at least manageable, depending on each individual’s circumstances. If you’re experiencing any issues with joints or muscles, particularly in this cold winter, seeing a medical professional is the best way to tackle the issue.


Always consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Selena N. B. H.