As the autumn yields to winter, the pressure and temperature drops and for sufferers of joint conditions such as arthritis, the familiar pain returns. Cold weather joint discomfort isn't reserved for older people either – many young people who have suffered bone and joint injuries report discomfort in the colder months.
There are several different theories as to why the cold weather causes joint pain, but the good news is that we can help to manage the issue with the right approach. It's a multi-faceted approach but one that will significantly improve your quality of life over the winter.
In this article we'll look at the scientific evidence to help you manage your uncomfortable joints, making the pain a thing of the past.
Time to read: 5 minutes
- Cold weather joint pain - what we know
- Physiology of joint discomfort
- KYMIRA® to manage aches & pain in the cold
- Practical advice
There are several different theories as to why the cold weather causes joint pain. In this article we'll look at the scientific evidence to help you manage your uncomfortable joints, making the pain a thing of the past...
Cold weather joint pain – what we know
The link between cold weather and joint pain certainly isn't anecdotal. When studied, there is a clear link between barometric pressure drops and osteoarthritic knee pain increase . If you've noticed an increase in joint discomfort in the cold, you're almost certainly correct.
There's also a difference in the effects of the pain depending on the weather conditions. Humidity, temperature, and geography effect people differently. We know that in certain climates for example humidity is a big issue, whereas in the UK it appears the colder, windier days are worst for sufferers .
There's also evidence to suggest that changes in atmospheric pressure can impact joint stability . There are links to several different joint pathologies in adverse weather conditions. Therefore, if joint integrity and stability is compromised by weather conditions, measures must be taken to ensure the impact is limited.
Essentially what we know from the research is that there is a clear link between adverse weather conditions and joint pain.
Physiology of joint discomfort
Outside of the mechanical issues that cause joint pain (these being obvious trauma and tissue damage, inflammation, and bone on bone contact through osteoarthritis), known causes of pain are a lack of mobility of the joint.
Synovial fluid is often described as ‘lubrication for the joints' and decreases in the activity of synovial fluid peptidase is linked with a variety of knee issues . By increasing the amount and activity of synovial fluid within the joint, it stands to reason that various joint ailments could be improved significantly.
There is a suggestion from the research that exercise will help to promote the production of synovial fluid and reduce the inflammatory biomarkers within the joints , reducing pain and discomfort.
Temperature is also a useful ally. There is strong research that shows keeping the joints warm will help to improve mobility and allow the internal structures (ligaments in particular) to move freely . The associated lack of stiffness is key to reducing pain in the joints. Interestingly, the researchers note the opposite effect in the cold – that the joints will be stiffer and more likely to be painful.
How KYMIRA® can help to manage aches and pains in the cold and damp
Sleep is one of nature's great healers, yet it can become even more elusive when you are trying to sleep with chronic pain. It can lead to a vicious cycle of chronic pain inhibiting sleep and poor sleep linked to an increase in pain (27). Practising sleep hygiene such as avoiding stimulants, heavy and rich foods and reducing screen time close to bedtime, establishing a bedtime routine, eliminating light and noise, is essential. Taking part in exercise such as yoga, is shown to improve sleep (24,28), as well as adequate sunshine exposure and B vitamins to make melatonin (29).
I found establishing an earlier to bed routine particularly beneficial, as well as the temperature change therapy, KYMIRA® products and noise distraction I mention elsewhere in the blogs, so that I sleep before I got too sore and mentally frazzled. On nights I have really struggled, I found the most productive thing was to complete a wind down routine again. I would suggest you find what works for you but for me that was things such as making a hot drink, muscle rolling, taking a hot shower and getting back into bed again with a fresher outlook.
The infrared technology within KYMIRA® clothing will help to prevent aches and pains when the temperature drops. There are several reasons why this is the case…
KYMIRA® improves circulation
The infrared technology stimulates the production of nitric oxide. This opens the blood vessels, improving circulation and reducing joint discomfort and stiffness.
KYMIRA® manages pain
Nitric Oxide activates a chemical called Cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP). This is the chemical activated when we take an opiate painkiller so will have a mild analgesic affect.
When subjected to independent study, KYMIRA® clothing is proven to warm 63% more effectively than fabrics of its equivalent weight.
KYMIRA® reduces inflammation
When studied in a sporting context, infrared fabrics have been shown to reduce inflammatory biomarkers in the muscles.
Practical advice for managing joint pain
We've seen that regular exercise (3-5 times per week) will help to improve symptoms of joint pain and will improve joint health over the long term.
Beyond that, managing aches and pains in the cold and damp needn't be a big issue. Wearing KYMIRA® fabrics will go a long way to helping make the problem a thing of the past. Rather than rely on constant painkillers, wearing KYMIRA® clothing along with a regular exercise regime will help take care of your aching joints.
From a practicality point of view, here's the benefits to KYMIRA® clothing…
- Passive – can be worn 24/7 and takes no effort
- Causes no side effects
- Infrared stimulates recovery as well as ease pain
- Portable – don't need to take any equipment with you
- Multi-use – you can wear it thousands of times and it remains effective
- Variable – comes in all garments that cover different areas of the body