Ever find that you feel achy and stiff when the weather is cold? If you have an artificial joint (like a knee or hip), you probably feel like you can predict a cold front more accurately than the Weather Channel.
Why do I hurt when it’s cold?
Cold weather can leave us feeling achy and stiff. Part of that may be due to decreased physical activity. It’s less pleasant to go for a walk in the rain or snow, so we spend more time indoors. But is there a physiological or biological reason for these cold-related aches and pains?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single reason we feel this way when temperatures drop. One theory relates to lower barometric pressure, which causes tendons and muscles to expand and contract. This can cause pain and discomfort in joints that have arthritis. Another theory is that the fluid inside joints thickens with colder weather, which can make things feel stiff.
The answer to this question? We don’t really know.
Is there a solution?
Since there’s little we can do about the weather, the best solution for stiffness is movement. We’re not suggesting a high intensity interval workout. It can be simple stretching, a yoga routine from YouTube, or a short walk around the block (bundle up first!). Check out our YouTube channel for ideas how to keep moving in the cold!
Remember: Motion is Lotion!
While we’re biased as physical therapists, there’s no reason NOT to exercise when you feel achy and stiff. It’s tempting to take a rest day, cuddle up on the sofa, and avoid moving altogether, but this will likely make you feel worse. Ever have a morning where you wake up feeling stiff, but once you get moving, you feel better? The same idea applies. If it’s cold and you feel stiff and maybe even a little painful, move your body. Even if it’s just a little bit.
If you find that your pain has not improved or seems to linger even when it isn’t cold, don’t suffer! Call us today for an appointment and we can help you feel better again!