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Why Your Joints Feel Worse in the Winter
Dec. 9, 2016
Have you noticed your joints feeling a little more stiff lately?

How about more “cracking” and “clicking” in your knees when you try to stand up from a chair or squat down?

With winter in full gear, increased joint pain is one of the most common things we see at Gordon Physical Therapy.

Minor aches and pains that didn’t bother you so much during the summer and fall seasons start to become more of a nuisance all of a sudden.

This is particularly true for people with knee pain (especially pain near the front of the knee cap, as well as underneath).

So what happens in the winter that makes these once minor joint pains become so much worse?

There are 2 main factors that cause increased joint pain in people across the board in the winter.

  1. With the drop in temperatures, the blood flow to the muscles and ligaments surrounding your joints is reduced.
  2. People are much less active in the winter. As their activity levels decline, so does their strength and ability to support their joints.

Let’s keep looking at people with knee pain for the time being…

During the warmer seasons, the “clicks” and “cracks” are only minor and don’t really cause much pain. Most likely, they’re associated with some mild weakness of the muscles surrounding the joint, which leads to poor tracking on the knee cap (patella) in its groove.

But then the weather changes, and the 2 things I mentioned above start taking their toll.

With the reduced blood flow, the mildly weak muscles aren’t getting quite the nutrition they once had.

Combine that with the sudden drop in activity level, and these same muscles start to gradually become weaker, and their ability to support the knee diminishes.

With enough time, those little cracking and popping noises are now much more frequent, and what’s more, they’re now causing pain.

Sound familiar?

All of a sudden, standing up from the couch is a painful event. And forget about squatting down or getting onto the ground to play with the kiddos!

It’s quite a picture of doom and gloom isn’t it?!!

So let’s look at the bright side: if you’re hoping to avoid the sudden increase in knee pain this winter, I have one piece of advice for you:

Stay Active!

This doesn’t mean you have to get outside every day (although that’s great if you can!).

Instead, you can look for activities in other ways. Like walking in the mall, or using a treadmill or stationary bike in the comfort of your home.

So if you’re already starting to feel some extra joint pain and stiffness this winter, please know that you’re not alone and that it’s not too late to get on top of it!

If you’d like more information on ways to ease knee pain naturally, you can send me an email at Luke@GordonPhysicalTherapy.com, and I’ll send you a copy of our FREE REPORT about 7 simple ways to eliminate knee pain. Or you can visit www.GordonPhysicalTherapy.com/knee-pain to download the report (the link will be up shortly!).

Have a happy winter!

-Luke

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Gordon Physical Therapy Spokane Valley

626 North Mullan Road #4, Spokane Valley, WA 99206

(509) 892-5442

© 2022 Gordon Physical Therapy

Monday   7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Tuesday  7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Wednesday  7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Thursday  7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Friday  7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday  Closed

Sunday  Closed

Gordon Physical Therapy Spokane Valley

626 North Mullan Road #4, Spokane Valley, WA 99206

(509) 892-5442

© 2022 Gordon Physical Therapy

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