With cold, damp weather upon us, my joints seem to ache more. Why?
A. Research still hasn't confirmed a cause-and-effect link between weather and joint pain, though many people insist they can predict the weather based on such aches. It's believed that changes in barometric pressure — which happen as weather systems change — trigger these sensations in the joints. Less air pressure surrounding the body can allow muscles, tendons, and other tissues around joints to expand. This can place pressure on joints, possibly leading to pain.
Another possibility is that you do things on cold, damp days that can worsen joint pain or stiffness, such as sit on the couch for hours watching movies. Also, since you're expecting discomfort when the weather shifts, you may notice joint aches more than you would otherwise. To ward off weather-related joint pain, keep moving with regular exercise and stretching.
Image: © justocker/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.