How does cold weather affect joint pain and arthritis?

How does cold weather affect joint pain and arthritis?

Often times I have patients come in with complaints that the cold weather is causing their arthritis to "act up" and make their neck pain, back pain, and even knee pain more sore. But why does weather and temperature affect your pain and what can you do about it?

There is no one definitive answer, but rather several supported theories that have been developed over the years.  Some theories state that barometric pressure changes from weather affect the pressure within the joint capsule that can lead to the pain and stiffness. Some patients even claim that they predict weather to an extend because of the pressure in their joints. In most cases, cool or damp weather creates the most complaints of joint pain.

Other studies revealed that cold temperatures have a direct effect on the viscosity of synovial fluid in the joint capsule and can affect the inflammatory mediators. This basically means that cold temperatures cause an increase the thickness of your joint fluid similar to how cold temperatures affect the oil in your car.

Regardless of the which theory is correct, the important thing is to get relief from the pain and prevent it from worsening.  This can be accomplished by a combination of regular exercise and getting chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments can help rejuvenate the joint capsule and provide relief from arthritis pain, while exercise can help keep mobility in the joints and maintain proper ranges of motion.

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