You may have been wondering: “Why do my legs hurt when it is cold?” Joint pains are symptoms of an injury or an underlying health condition. But cold weather does create joint pains, especially when you must spend time outdoors during winter. Let’s take a brief look at the reasons for this kind of pain and how you can get it treated.
At the end of the fall or during winter, complaints about joint pain are usually heard more than other seasons of the year. There’s inadequate research to prove the cause of this condition. During the cold months, the body tries to conserve more heat and it sends more blood to organs in the mid-section of the body, like your heart, lungs and digestive organs.
Consequently, the legs, knees, arms, shoulders and other joints have less blood. This, in turn, makes the blood vessels at the joints constrict. The reduced flow of blood makes those areas stiffer and colder, which can result in pain and discomfort.
When the weather is cold, the joints get inflamed due to a change in atmospheric pressure. This may cause greater joint pain because of increased nerve sensitivity and poor blood circulation.
You may feel pain in different parts of your body. But cold weather discomfort occurs mainly in the hips, knees and ankles. This happens more when you run regularly. If you tend to spend more time exercising in the cold, you’ll put more pressure on weight-bearing joints. As explained earlier, the pain you feel could be caused by restricted blood flow to the joints or changes in pressure.
Keeping warm can help you reduce cold weather joint pain, especially when you’re going to run outdoors in winter. Here are some ways to warm up:
If you discover that your joints still hurt after you’ve applied these tips, you need to talk to a physical therapist or orthopedist. Give us a call now to book an appointment with OrthoBethesda. We’ll do a full examination on your joints to determine whether the pain you feel is due to a health condition.