With the cold weather fast approaching, people often ask in the clinic “Why do my knees hurt more in the winter?...” . One of the most recognised theories is because nerve endings in our joints become hypersensitive in the cold and therefore the pain we experience is more intense.
There are a few things that we can do to try and manage these increased symptoms.
- “Wrap up warm”: keeping the knees covered if you are going out will reduce the pain experienced in the joints. Get those long johns on!!
- “Keep Moving”: walking and staying active will naturally keep our body temperature higher and improve circulation to the knees. The movement also keeps the joints supple and therefore reduces the stiffness that you may experience after prolonged periods of rest.
- Heat packs: applying a hot water bottle or microwavable wheat packs wrapped in a towel to the knee will instantly give you some relief from the pain. Apply heat to the knees for 10-15 minutes at a time and this can be repeated a few times a day!
- Warm baths: in the same way as heat packs, a nice warm bath can help relax the muscles around the knee and reduce the stiffness felt from the joints.
- Massage: gently rubbing the muscles around the knee can feel good and relieve pain. 5-10 minutes rubbing around the knee when it’s sore can really help!
- “Take it easy”: Rest is just as important for the knees and movement. It avoids putting too much stress on the knees at any one time. So make sure you pace you activities throughout the day and week so the joints have time to rest and recover.
Unfortunately, we cannot control the British weather, but we can manage the symptoms felt because of it. Try some of these and don’t let cold get a hold on your knee pain!!