February 14, 2024/Daily Health Stories

Cold Weather Causing Your Joints to Ache?

Noticing some joint pain in the colder weather? A rheumatologist explains why your body might ache and you have more soreness when the temperature drops.


Media Contact

Cleveland Clinic News Service | 216.444.0141

We’re available to shoot custom interviews & b-roll for media outlets upon request.

Media Downloads

CCNS health and medical content is consumer-friendly, professional broadcast quality (available in HD), and available to media outlets each day.

images: 0

video: 3

audio: 2

text: 2

Content is property of Cleveland Clinic and for news media use only.

CLEVELAND – If you noticed your joints are creaking and popping more than usual, the cold weather could be to blame.

Elaine Husni, MD, rheumatologist with Cleveland Clinic, explains the science behind this theory.

“In cold weather, we have lower barometric pressure and sometimes that can increase swelling in certain areas. And you may not know this, but in your knee joint or wrist joint or any joints, those are really small spaces surrounded by joint capsule,” said Dr. Husni. “So anything that might increase swelling, even a little bit, people may feel it more and they can get joint pain.”

Dr. Husni adds that blood vessels can constrict, lowering your blood supply in your toes and fingers.

And that in turn can cause more pain and stiffness.

Not to mention, as we age there is less water content in the muscles and joints, so you may feel more soreness.

Dr. Husni recommends drinking plenty of fluids to offset this loss.

She said it’s also beneficial to maintain a healthy weight; being overweight puts pressure on your body and causes inflammation.

So, if you’re routinely feeling symptoms, don’t ignore them.

“If you have really persistent joint pain in the cold, or the joint pain is escalating in the cold, or you have a lot of swelling with the joint that is lasting more than one to two months, you might want to see your primary care physician or rheumatologist to get that addressed and to make sure there is nothing going on in addition to just cold weather causing joint discomfort,” she advised.

Dr. Husni said working out is important too.

Yoga or swimming can build muscle tone, while stretching or strength training can help bones and joints work better together.

Latest Daily Health Stories