Colder Weather and the Return of Creaky Joints

I know it might be odd to talk about cold weather while I'm living in Florida, but there's a fall chill in the air lately.

For us, that's down in the 60s in the morning but near the low 80s by mid-afternoon.

Sore joints with colder weather

The problem that I have had in this weather transition is a familiar phenomenon: the return of sore and creaky joints, particularly in the morning. It's most evident when I'm walking to and from work and getting ready in the morning.

At first, I was a little upset because I thought that my Humira and Plaquenil combo wasn't working anymore. But I've found that I've experienced this before — both in the transition from summer to fall and when the weather changed from fall to winter.

How I manage weather-related joint pain

I want to focus this article on what I do when the weather starts affecting my joints too much.

Increase movement and physical activity

First, my go-to thing when I'm feeling the effects of the weather change is getting some movement in. This includes walking - even if it hurts - to loosen tight joints.

I've written before that regular exercise and movement really helps with my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain, and it really does. But, it can be hard to find the time to exercise.

What is more disconcerting is that walking is usually the last thing on my mind when I'm thrust into the middle of RA pain, and it takes a while to get to that point where you don't feel any more pain while you're walking.

Start dressing warmer

The next thing I do has two functions - one for keeping my joints warm and the other for keeping my own person warm. I start dressing warmer!

You'd be surprised at how much a temperature change like that can impact how my joints feel. I carry with me some compression gloves, a scarf perhaps, and basically anything that will keep me warm and mobile.

We don't often get the occasion to really dress warmly in Florida, so any time I can, I relish that chance as much as possible! I think this is also leading to me needing to get out of Florida, though that could increase my feelings of RA pain.

Invest in a good heating pad

Something else that helps me with creaky joints in the cold - which somewhat ties into keeping warm - is my heating pads. I have a huge heating pad with multiple heating points and levels that helps "break the gel" covering my joints.

And while it was expensive, it's been extremely helpful, particularly since it has velcro straps that can wrap around a particular joint in pain or my foot or my shoulder, as well. I find it incredibly helpful and would recommend anyone who has RA and experiences pain due to the cold to have a large heating pad like this to help.

I hope this is helpful for you to think about what you might to do to mitigate joint pain as fall returns. What helps you defrost from the coming chill of autumn? I'm interested to know because I always love learning more about other people's routines and ideas are.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.