A frequent question we get from our patients is: “Why do I experience more joint pain in Winter?” There are several reasons why joint pain and stiffness may increase and become common for many individuals during the winter months. The following are four of the most common reasons.
Reduced Tissue Elasticity and Mobility
One of the main reasons for increased joint pain during Winter is the change in temperature and humidity. Cold, dry air can cause the joints and surrounding tissues to become stiff and sore. When the air is dry, the thickness of the joint fluid increases, therefore, causing more joint stiffness and decreased range of motion. This can lead to pain and discomfort, especially in people with conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Low Levels of Vitamin D
Another reason for increased joint pain in the Winter is the decreased amount of sunlight. During the Winter months, there is less daylight and many people are exposed to less sunlight, which can lead to a decrease in vitamin D levels. Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health, but also a deficiency can lead to an increase in joint pain and stiffness. This is because Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium, which is vital for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and joints. Low levels of Vitamin D can lead to weaker bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis which can cause joint pain.
Another reason for increased joint pain in the Winter is the change in barometric pressure. When the barometric pressure drops, it can cause bones, muscles, and tendons to expand. As a result, the joints within the body experience increased pressure, leading to increased pain and discomfort. This is particularly true for people with conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Reduced Physical Activity
During the Winter months, people tend to be less active and spend more time indoors. Cold weather and shorter days can make it more difficult to get outside and exercise. This leads to a decrease in physical activity and a decrease in joint mobility. This can lead to joint stiffness and pain. A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to weight gain which can put additional stress on the joints. Additionally, the holiday season often involves more eating and drinking, which can lead to weight gain and put additional stress on the joints.
To help alleviate joint pain during the winter months, it is important to stay active and exercise regularly. Gentle exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga can help to keep the joints flexible and reduce pain. Remember that warmth and hydration are also key factors in exercising in the winter. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet, as being overweight can put additional stress on the joints, leading to increased pain and discomfort.
If your joint pain is getting in the way of the activities you want to do please reach out for help from our providers! These symptoms may be persistent swelling, redness, difficulty with movements, or pain when putting pressure on the joint. To learn more or schedule an appointment at either of our clinics with any of our chiropractors, physiotherapists, or registered massage therapists please visit our website at www.curativa.com. You can also call our Glebe Clinic at 613-237-9000 or our Byward Clinic at 613-860-8600.