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What’s the Story about Joint Pain and Weather?

When summer’s over and days get shorter and cool weather sets in, do you notice any changes in your joints or knees? While many people agree that weather affects our knees, is that really true? Here are a couple of examples of well known websites that ask this very question, and look at how they answer it.

Can you treat joints when the weather is responsible?  Plus, you can find out many more ways to treat your knees, if they hurt.

We’ll talk about what you can do to take care of yourself and soothe your joints. Just scroll down for the details. But first, let’s ask the question: Are knee pain and weather related? Can Rheumatism and arthritis get worse with cool and/or damp weather?

Here Are What a Couple of ‘Experts’ Have to Say

Webmd says:

<<It’s common to blame joint pain flare-ups on changes in the weather, and many doctors believe people can feel more joint pain on cold, rainy days. But the research on the connection between the two isn’t clear.>>

On the other hand, another popular website, it says:

<<Research supports what many people have long suspected — weather may indeed have an influence on joint pain>>

So one guy says, that “Research…….may..influence joint pain.”  And another guy says “The research isn’t clear”. How do we deal with that apparent contradiction? Well, there are two helpful rules, or guidelines:

  • Trust your own experience–when the temperature, climate conditions (sunny vs rainy, for example) change, what do you feel?
  • Use critical thinking. Your own common sense will often give you the answer you need. Trust yourself.

Folk Wisdom about Your Health: True or False?

Folk wisdom for years, maybe even centuries, says there is a connection between knee pain and weather. Just think of it this way: When wood or other organic material gets wet or dries out, it expands and contracts. If you’ve ever had a door get stuck because it expanded, you can easily observe this.

Likewise, you probably are aware that water itself expands and contracts, depending on temperature. We are made up of mostly water, as well as…bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and so on.  In rainy weather, my wooden door expands and sticks, making it harder to open and close the door. Could the same thing happen with your joints?

All these will expand and contract. The differences in our joints may be small, depending on the weather, but since our bodies are so sensitive, such differences can make a big difference in how our nervous system, which is our ‘pain indicator’, tells us of changes in temperature, humidity and even barometric pressure.

Six Simple Remedies for Sore Joints due to Weather

There are 6 things you can do to take care of your knees, feet, hands and other joints, based on weather changes, regardless of whether you think weather has anything to do with your discomfort.


  • Take a hot bath.
  • Use heating pads, elbow warmers, knee sleeves, arthritis friendly gloves
  • Use Bengay, or Tiger Balm ointments, which have ingredients such as Methyl Salicylate, Camphor, Eucalyptus, all of which give a feeling of warmth
  • Do warm up exercises, get your circulation going, without putting stress on the joints. Just getting them moving will bring warm blood into the joints, and the movement will help lubricate the joint, and make it move more smoothly

    19 images of a woman doing warm up exercises

    Warm Up Exercises

  • A simple pain reliever like Tylenol can help with slight pain
  • Either do a self massage–just rubbing the sore area helps!–or get a massage from a professional massage therapist.


It’s a fact that sometimes, for whatever reason, we’re going to experience some aches and pains. Personally, I avoid expensive alternatives, ESPECIALLY OPIOIDS!

You now know 6 simple things you can do to ease joint discomfort, as we come into the cool season, when people often do have painful joints. Simply choose one or more of these easy to follow steps, or click a link to get some pain relief.

Thanks for reading!