Cold Weather and Your Joints: Can Your Knees Predict the Weather?
Winter is officially upon us here in Pearland, Texas. While frigid temperatures aren’t the everyday norm, they do happen here in Texas. Those who suffer from joint pain or other conditions may find their joint pain increasing when the temperature is about to drop. Can your knees predict the cold weather? We’ve listed out some ways that winter weather can affect your joints:
- Changes in Air Pressure
Often, cold weather comes following a period of rainfall. When the weather is rainy, the air pressure (also called barometric pressure) decreases. The lower air pressure reduces the amount of “push” on your body, allowing your tissues to expand. As a result, these expanded tissues can put pressure on the joint. For most people, this is not a problem. However, those who have suffered a joint injury or chronic pain have nerves that may be more sensitive, which causes an increased amount of pain due to these small changes in air pressure.
- Joint Fluid Changes
As the temperature begins to drop, the fluid that keeps your joints moving smoothly thickens. When this fluid thickens, the joints become less flexible. This increases inflammation within the joints and causes that “creaky” feeling you may experience as the weather begins to get colder.
- Changes in Exercise Routine
As the skies become grey and you are expecting a temperature drop, you may become less motivated to go outside and exercise. This could actually lead to the joint pain you feel along with a temperature drop. Exercise promotes blood flow to the joints, which reduces pain-inducing inflammation. As a result, you experience an increased amount of joint pain along with these weather changes.
- Tightness Throughout the Body
As the weather begins to cool down, the muscles, ligaments, and tendons begin to lose heat. As a result, they become tight and stiff. This stiffness causes your joints to work harder in order to properly move your body, which causes increased inflammation and discomfort.
Joint pain can be difficult to deal with, especially when it is alerting you of weather changes. At Dr. Burke Orthopedics, we believe that you should be able to enjoy a pain-free life in any kind of weather. To get back to your daily routine without joint pain, give us a call at (713) 436-3488. We are a leading name in Orthopedics in the Pearland, Texas area.