Many people living with chronic pain will likely tell you that temperature fluctuations impact their discomfort. In one study in The American Journal of Medicine1, researchers concluded that knee pain severity in individuals with knee osteoarthritis, for instance, is “modestly influenced by the weather.” An increase in barometric pressure (which happens when the temperature drops) is also associated with greater pain, as is colder ambient temperature, the study found.

Additional research, on the other hand, has questioned these findings, such as a 2016 review in the Journal of General Practice that says, “The evidence to support this common observation is weak; however some studies have reported a trend towards worsening of pain and stiffness with falling temperature and barometric pressure in arthritic patients.”

The point is, there is definitely an anecdotal and patient-reported association between cold weather and joint pain/stiffness, so if that sounds all too familiar, here’s what to do.



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