Woman holding knee in pain

Relief for Weather-Related Joint Pain

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our dedicated physiatrists understand that certain kinds of weather present challenges to patients with joint pain. This is not an old wives’ tale; it’s a scientific fact. If you are one of the Long Islanders who finds your joint pain exacerbated by bad weather, contact one of our five offices in Nassau and Suffolk to find the individualized treatment you’re looking for, administered by professionals who treat you with empathy and respect.

We specialize in nonsurgical pain relief and restoration of function, and have an impressive record of success in our field with patients of all ages and backgrounds. Contact us now to have your discomfort taken seriously and addressed by skilled, experienced professionals.

Causes of Joint Pain

Joint pain can stem from various causes, including: osteoarthritis, previous injuries, and autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis). It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joints wears down over time or when inflammation in the joint area causes pain. Like other types of pain, joint pain can be worsened by several factors, including the weather, leading to increased sensitivity and even temporary disability for those affected.

How Weather Affects Joint Pain

Many of our patients report a noticeable increase in joint pain during specific weather conditions. Scientific studies suggest that barometric pressure changes can cause expansion and contraction of tendons, muscles, bones, and scar tissue, resulting in pain in the affected areas. Since cartilage damaged by arthritis exposes more joint nerves, patients with arthritis are more likely to be affected by changes in atmospheric pressure.

Cold and damp weather can also increase the thickness of joint (synovial) fluids, making joints stiffer and more susceptible to pain. Also, when the body is chilled, more blood automatically flows to the heart and lungs, and therefore the circulation of blood to the limbs lessens, further increasing pain and stiffness. In addition, in cold, damp weather people are likely to remain indoors and inactive which only makes the situation worse.

Other External Factors That Can Help Alleviate Joint Pain

Just as you have become aware of weather conditions that negatively impact joint pain, you are probably aware of certain external factors that have a positive effect on your discomfort, such as:

  • Ice packs or heating pads may work in alternation, depending on the nature and duration of the joint pain.
  • Exposure to sunlight raises vitamin D level, reducing pain and improving mood.
  • Soothing music lowers stress levels and reduces perception of pain.
  • Engaging natural imagery promotes relaxation and distracts from pain.
  • Pleasure experienced by doing activities you enjoy increases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

Studies have shown that these simple methods have measurable benefits, for example, resulting in reduced use of opioids and other painkillers.

How We Address Joint Pain at L.I. Spine Rehabilitation Medicine 

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, we approach weather-related joint pain holistically, focusing on accurate diagnosis and effective treatment strategies.

Diagnosis of Joint Pain

Our diagnosis process begins with taking a comprehensive patient history and performing a physical examination. We may employ imaging studies, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or ultrasound scans, as well as blood tests, aspiration and examination of synovial fluid, electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies.

Treatment of Joint Pain

Our doctors use both traditional and complementary treatments to alleviate joint pain and improve mobility. Our broad range of successful treatment options include:

  • Customized physical therapy
  • Medications, e.g. anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relievers, and muscle relaxants
  • Joint injections: Corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid injections to reduce joint inflammation and pain at the site
  • Acupuncture to increase blood flow and accelerate healing
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) to reduce pain and increase range of motion
  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) to stimulate cellular repair and improve circulation

Contact Our Joint Pain Specialists Today

If you have joint pain, don’t let the weather get you down. Our talented physiatrists are committed to helping you rediscover the joy of leading a more active, comfortable life, regardless of whether the sun is shining. Contact our team today.