Winter and cold weather increase the pain and stiffness in your knee injury. It is a wonder whether it is a medical fact or just a feeling.No, this is not a misconception but a fact that some types of knee injuries actually cause more pain and discomfort in cold weather.
So, what is the reason behind the increase in knee pain in winter?
- Scientifically speaking, the fluid in the knees becomes slightly dense due to the cold temperature. This fluid is responsible for smoothing and absorbing shocks. When it becomes thick, it does not rotate around the joint as fluid. Therefore, it causes stiffness and pain for the patient with an already injured joint.
- Another primary winter side effect is barometric pressure drop. Barometric pressure is the weight of air in the atmosphere. At low temperatures, it lowers the air pressure. As a result, gases expand in the knee joints and additional pressure is placed on the nerves. This is why one experiences pain. Additionally, if the weather is cold and humid, it also affects the cellular structures of the bones and the cartilage of the joints.
- Poor outdoor activity is a by-product of cold weather. Most people stay indoors for maximum hours of the day. This decreased activity is not compatible with joint health. In fact, it pushes the pain perception up a notch.
What type of knee injury can cause severity?
If the weather is cold, and your knees are not in perfect health (or have an injury), it can cause the following types of issues:
Knee Trauma: Cold weather can affect the muscles that hold your knee joint. The surrounding muscles play an important role in supporting the joint form on all sides. When these tissues are warm, they work and move with little effort.
In the colder months, they have to work harder to do similar tasks. Excess energy exhausts them and causes tissue mutations. Therefore, the patient experiences more pain than summers.
Patellar tendonitis: This condition is also called “jumper’s knee” in common man’s language. It hurts when climbing stairs or jumping. Winters induce stiffness and decreased circulation in the tendon, which increases the injury. Pain spreads below the cap of the knee.
Runner’s knee: This is directly related to the overuse of joints. It is usually faced by sports persons or active joggers. Rubbing the kneecap against the thighs causes the knee to move.
The result is cartilage wear and tears. As the weather cools, it tightens the muscles surrounding these joints, causing pain.
How can we reduce knee pain in winter?
Stay warm: To reduce the pain of your knee injury in cold weather, there are several things you can do yourself. The most significant way is to keep your injured joint and surrounding muscles warm.
Use leg warmers, take hot showers/steam baths, and sleep at a warming temperature.
Wear compression bands: You can also wear knee-clad bands or bands while avoiding cold at the same time.
They should not be too tight, although this is meant to affect circulation and provoke other problems.
Do Yoga: Follow a regular exercise program or yoga routine for balanced health. It is important to stay active and keep your muscles moving. Yoga protects the body from seriousness and improves mental and emotional health by getting rid of toxins.
Knee pain triggered in the winter season is not a myth! Take extra care of your joints and stay active no matter what happens. There are many places where winters are really severe and long. Arthritis and joint injuries become more pronounced and cause pain.
For more specific problems, it is always better to consult your orthopedic specialist so that your winters are free from pain but further damage can be avoided. Knee specialists may also recommend some bone and muscle strengthening medications and exercises.