Joint Pain and Weather Changes

How many times have you heard a friend or parent say, “It’s going to rain tomorrow” because their joints started aching more.  You might hear it when the temperature falls or when the seasons change.  Historically, we laugh as our bodies predict the weather. However, currently there is no scientific research directly connecting weather to joint pain.


There is however a very popular theory relating joint pain to barometric pressure.  Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere or air that surrounds us. Low barometric pressure may cause irritation in nerves or tissues to swell.  It may also cause muscle, tendons and scar tissue to contract and expand, creating joint pain.

Below is a good analogy of how barometric pressure works on our joints:

If you imagine the tissues surrounding the joints to be like a balloon, high barometric pressure that pushes against the body from the outside will keep tissues from expanding.

But barometric pressure often drops before harsh weather sets in. This lower air pressure pushes less against the body, allowing tissues to expand — and those expanded tissues can put pressure on the joint. (Jamison)

There is also the theory of blood flow restriction and cold temperatures.

This theory connects dropping temperatures to the body conserving heat.  The body reacts to cold temperatures by limiting blood flow to the extremities and pumping blood to the lungs and heart.  This could in turn cause joints to feel stiff. Lack of physical activity on rainy and cold days can also cause less blood flow to muscles and joints, causing them to ache.

How can you manage the aches and pains during weather changes?  Try these simple tips that may help comfort you this winter.

  1. STAY WARM: Layer up on clothing, take warm showers or baths. Warm-up your vehicle before driving. Keep your home warm.
  2. STAY ACTIVE. Light exercise keeps joints from becoming stiff by increasing blood flow and keeping joints and muscles flexible. Keep your joints moving!
  3. REALIZING increases in aches and pain are TEMPORARY and can improve. 

If you would like to know more about exercises for arthritis, please call PRO Physical Therapy and set up an appointment with a physical or occupational therapist.  Our team will assist in managing your arthritis symptoms.  We want to keep our patients independent and functional. We want you to move better to be better.

Stay fit, motivated, and challenged!   

Scan our QR Code with your phone to visit PRO Physical Therapy Website!

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302 US HWY 68 West

Benton KY 42082 

Schedule Your Consultation at PRO Physical Therapy

Are you ready to end your muscle or joint pain? PRO Physical Therapy can help you get started today. To find out more about direct access and our physical therapy services in Marshall County, Kentucky, call 270-252-7600 and schedule an initial evaluation and our experienced insurance can verify your insurance coverage.