You might have heard that cold weather and changes in barometric pressure can make joint pain worse. In fact, some people say they can actually tell when the temperature is about to drop just by the increase in swelling or pain in their joints.

While there is mixed scientific evidence to support the link between cold weather and joint pain, many patients report a change in symptoms when the weather changes. There could be a number of reasons for this, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that your joint condition is getting worse.

Shorter days and colder temperatures make us less inclined to go out and stay active, and being immobile can make joint pain worse. So some doctors think that this is a real reason people feel increased pain during colder weather. If you’re feeling more pain as winter approaches, you could try keeping active indoors with some housekeeping, or visit your local gym if you’re not keen on braving the elements. Our blog post about exercise and osteoarthritis has more ideas on keeping active.

One of the other theories is that the pain is related to misbehaving nerves. When it’s colder, the nerves can constrict the blood vessels in the limbs to help reduce heat loss and keep the core of the body warm. These body changes, which are triggered by cooler weather, can lead to an amplification of the pain signals from the joint, and ultimately increase the amount of pain the person feels.

While it’s not been proven that cold weather increases joint pain, any increase or change in symptoms can be distressing. If you’re experiencing pain, take a look at the other handy posts about managing osteoarthritis on our blog, or call us today on 020 7118 1771 to book an appointment with one of our leading pain consultants.