Why is my Arthritis Worse in the winter?

by | Dec 24, 2023

Winter and achy joints: Why it Hurts More and How to Feel Better.

Ah, the winter season—where the air is chilly and joints seem to take on a life of their own. For many individuals with arthritis, the cold months can feel like a symphony of aches and pains. Let’s talk about why arthritic joints feel worse in the winter, easy self-help strategies to ease the discomfort, and how physiotherapy can offer relief.


Why Joints Get Grumpy in Winter?

When it gets cold, joints can act up because of the weather changes.  Cold weather often exacerbates arthritis symptoms due to various reasons:

Barometric Pressure: Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure can affect joints, causing pain and stiffness.

Temperature Drop: Cold weather can lead to stiffness in joints, making movement more challenging and causing discomfort.

Reduced Activity: Winter tends to keep us indoors, leading to decreased physical activity, which can contribute to stiffness and pain.

Self-Help Tips for Managing Winter Arthritis

Fortunately, there are ways to thaw the icy grip of winter on arthritic joints:

Stay Warm: Layer clothing to keep the body cozy, especially the affected joints. Heat packs or warm baths can also provide soothing relief.

Stay Active: Keep those joints moving! Engage in gentle exercises like walking, swimming, or yoga to maintain flexibility and reduce stiffness.

Mind Your Diet: Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish, nuts, and colorful fruits and vegetables. They can help manage inflammation and potentially ease arthritis symptoms.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep joints lubricated and reduce stiffness.

How Physiotherapy Can Help Manage Arthritis

Enter physiotherapy—the beacon of hope for achy joints! Physiotherapists play a crucial role in managing arthritis symptoms, especially during winter. Here’s how:

Exercise Prescription: A physiotherapist can design a personalised exercise regimen tailored to your specific type of arthritis, aiming to improve joint mobility and reduce stiffness.

Manual Therapy: Techniques like joint mobilisation or manipulation can help improve joint function and alleviate pain.

Education and Advice: Physiotherapists provide guidance on lifestyle modifications, ergonomics, and self-management strategies to reduce arthritis-related discomfort.

Strengthening Exercises: Targeted strengthening exercises can enhance muscle support around the affected joints, reducing strain and pain.

Here are some exercises you can try at home to help keep your joints moving, and try to prevent them from getting stiff and achy.

Click HERE to download this handout of TOP 10 EXERCISES from the Canadian Arthritis Society:


Why is my Arthritis Worse in the winter?

Final Thoughts

Winter doesn’t have to mean more pain! With small changes and help from a physiotherapist, you can make your achy joints feel better. So, stay warm, keep moving, and ask a physiotherapist for tips to make winter easier on your joints!

So, keep warm, keep moving, and consider reaching out to a physiotherapist to help you navigate the winter months with greater ease and comfort! 

May your winter be warm, your joints cooperative, and your days filled with more comfort and mobility!

Why is my Arthritis Worse in the winter?

ABOUT 16th Ave Chiropractic and Physiotherapy

You have your own personal goals. Maybe you want to return to sport, work, recover from surgery or get ready for a vacation. After 40 years in Richmond Hill our highly trained and experienced chiropractors and physiotherapists know what treatment/exercises you need to help you reach your goals.
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Make an appointment by calling us or emailing and talk about how we can help you.

Call us at 905-709-7147 or email us at info@chirophysio16th.com