- With the arrival of cold weather, many people suffering from chronic joint or bone pain, or those who have undergone surgery or injury experience increased pain in their joints or bones.
What causes joint/bone pain when the cold sets in?
Temperature and atmospheric pressure changes caused by cold weather, precipitation, and wind can contribute to the onset of joint or bone pain.
Joints are surrounded by a tissue (joint capsule) formed by synovial fluid. This fluid lubricates the joints and acts as a cushion against possible traumas or friction between them.
When atmospheric pressure drops, the pressure of synovial fluid increases, leading to a change in its viscosity that can result in increased joint stiffness and friction. Consequently, this change may cause discomfort or pain if there is or has been a fracture or scar, as the joints and the surrounding skin become stiffer with less capacity to stretch.
Additionally, cold temperatures promote muscle contraction and increased stiffness as a defense mechanism to maintain body temperature. This contributes to the onset of joint pain and stiffness in individuals with already worn-out joints, as the muscles around them are subjected to a stressful situation.
Therefore, it can be affirmed that worsening weather, changes in atmospheric pressure, and temperature fluctuations affect joint pressure, intraosseous pressure, and muscle stiffness. As a result, it may cause discomfort in individuals with worn-out joints or injuries. These patients who experience pain when the weather changes are referred to as “weather-sensitive” individuals, meaning they are more sensitive to meteorological changes.
What can I do if I’m “weather-sensitive”?
If you consider yourself sensitive to weather changes and experience physical discomfort, it is recommended that you anticipate the weather change and take preventive measures such as:
- Application of dry heat to affected areas: Relaxes contracted muscles and prevents joint stiffness.
- Gentle stretching exercises: Prepares the joints.
- Moderate physical activity: Crucial to prevent joint atrophy.
- Maintain good posture: Essential for promoting blood circulation.
- Follow a varied diet: Provide necessary nutrients for joint care and maintain a proper weight, thus avoiding joint deterioration.
- Sleep on a flat and firm mattress: To prevent sinking and maintain a good sleeping posture.
The Traumatology Unit at CreuBlanca also emphasizes the importance of consulting a specialist in joint and bone pain for personalized monitoring and treatment to prevent possible complications and avoid collateral damage. Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.