Why Cold Weather Can Make Your Aches And Pains Feel Worse

It looks like we are now starting to experience winter weather.

It’s that time of year when you may need to spend 5 minutes warming up your car before you can go anywhere.

It’s not just our cars that need a little bit more care at this time of year.

Do your joints feel strange and a little bit stiff?

Maybe they ache more than usual?

Have you started to notice any clicks and cracks coming from your knees?

There’s been a few people in the clinic lately who have been struggling to put their finger on their aches and pains and not sure why it’s happening to them, so you know that you’re not alone.

It happens every year, at this time of year, joint pain is one of the most common things we see.

Let me know if this sounds familiar…

There’s some clicking of the knees every now and then, nothing really painful and you don’t think much of it.

As time goes on, whenever your knees click, it can be painful and they start will start to ache a bit more – usually around the front of the knee (knee cap), and on the inside of your knee.

Do they start to feel achy and sore after walking around shopping?

What about getting back up again after relaxing on the sofa. Does it take a few steps for your knees ‘to get going’ again.

This can make it difficult for you to get out of your car with ease.

Then the cold weather hits the area and your joints begin to feel even WORSE.

I’m guessing most of that sounded familiar with knee pain at this time of year.

But why does it happen more and more to men and women aged 50+?

There’s a whole bunch of reasons that exist as to why joints in your body become more problematic in the winter time.

The two most common reasons we see at Physio are these:

  1. Cold weather naturally restricts the warmth of the blood that flows around your body, which helps keep you warm and mobile.

2. The fact you’re much less likely to keep as active and mobile in the winter as you are in the warmer months.

Keeping mobile is just like spraying WD40 on the stiff parts of a bike or car.

Just as a car needs oil to get from A to B efficiently – your joints need to keep active so they don’t stiffen up.

Here’s the thing that many people don’t realize – the winter months and long periods of inactivity can be the root cause of many years of what I call ‘all of a sudden’ life-long knee pains. As your muscles get a long rest this winter, there’s a chance they will become weaker and slowly get to the point where they wont be able to support your knees.

Worse yet, many people don’t even notice it happening until the pain sets in. When it does, a chain of events is triggered and when your knees don’t have the support of strong muscles, problems like arthritis can set in. This makes it important to make the most of every opportunity you have this winter to keep active, so you can fight off the curse of bad knees creeping up on you.

It’s easy to think that when the weather starts to warms up you’ll exercise again.

The problem with that is, very few people understand that your muscles need to be strong and stable to exercise safely!

If you go into tough exercise too quick, there’s a chance you’ll injure yourself and make those sore joints even worse!

So, my number one tip for you today to keep the winter aches away is to include some kind of activity in your day, everyday.

It doesn’t have to be outdoors either!

You can book yourself into an exercise class with friends, do low-impact movements that are kind to your joints like Pilates or Yoga from the comfort of your living room.

Even better, if you have an exercise bike or something similar, use it while watching your favorite TV shows.

There really is something for everyone.

So what are you going to do to keep active this winter?

If it is affecting your day to day activity and limiting what you enjoy, it is time to give us a call to resolve this issue before it gets worse!  Our friendly compassionate staff is waiting to hear from you –> (828) 348-1780.

Christopher Taylor, PT

Chris Taylor is the Founding Physical Therapist at PHYSIO Physical Therapy and Wellness Asheville. He has been voted Best Physical Therapist in Western North Carolina every year by the Mountain XPress Reader Poll. His experience includes being a patient himself which deepens his understanding of each aspect of the rehab process. He has lived and worked in 11 states which contributes to the treatment style he has developed which breaks the mold. Become a better You today! #KeepAshevilleActive