Knee Pain and the Cold: 3 Things You Need to Know
It’s an old wives’ tale that actually has a kernel of truth behind it. Your knee pain actually can get worse when it’s rainy or cold. Most research has linked this phenomenon to the change in barometric pressure in the atmosphere, which in turn affects the pressure in your knee joint.
Decreased pressure in the air around you makes for increased pain. And interestingly, your body will adjust to the climate you’re in. Patients who live in more mild climates notice a difference in pain with only a slight change in barometric pressure; while patients who live in areas with more dramatic climate swings need a larger shift in pressure before noticing a discernible difference.
Regardless of where you live, there are a few things you should do when the temperature drops.
Layer up and get out there.
The best way to reduce knee pain in cold weather? Get moving. This often proves difficult since the cold can have negative effects on both your pain and energy level. Motivating yourself to be active can be a challenge to begin with, but being active in 35-degree temperatures can sound like torture.
The nice thing is, movement will help warm you up. Be sure to dress in layers so you can peel off once you’re warm.
Still struggling with motivation? Try activities you can’t do in warm weather, like snow shoeing, ice skating or even just walking around your neighborhood to enjoy the holiday lights with a friend.
Keep inflammation down.
Inflammation is a major culprit in knee pain. Luckily, there are several measures you can take to keep it to a minimum.
The easiest is to drink plenty of water. This keeps your joints lubricated, flushes out toxins, and keeps inflammation low. If the cold is making it hard to drink your regular 8 glasses a day, try some hot herbal tea. Many herbal teas like ginger even have anti-inflammatory properties of their own.
Another way to keep the pain and swelling at bay is to take an all-natural supplement like Phyto-4, or use our Reflex salve daily on joints.
There are also a variety of winter vegetables with natural anti-inflammatory properties – such as squash, turnips, beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli raab, kale and yams.
Continue to ice your knees in the winter.
It might sound terrible, but to keep your knees as healthy as possible you should still be icing them after exercising or extended activity during the winter.
One instance you might be overlooking is those marathon holiday shopping trips to the mall. As soon as you get home, you should be elevating and icing for at least fifteen minutes. Maybe have a cup of that ginger tea while you sit to keep you warm.
And of course, the best medicine is prevention. Don’t wait until you’ve reinjured yourself, or start feeling pain to address your knee health. Take steps to understand the root cause of your knee pain, learn how to prevent further joint damage, and experience healthy limber knees – no matter the season.
Are you an avid runner? Click here to check out our post on how to protect your knees during cold winter runs. If you’re ready to learn more about Reflex holistic approach to knee pain, simply fill out the contact form at the top of your screen to discuss your needs with our staff.