If your joints start aching in protest to the cold weather outside, you’re certainly not alone.

It’s a problem millions of people around the world deal with. There’s no single explanation for this, but there are lots of theories.

Surprisingly, it’s an area where science hasn’t fully answered the question.

One theory is that the drop in barometric pressure causes tendons and muscles, and the tissues surrounding them to expand.  Given the confines of your body, this leads to tension and stiffness or soreness.

There’s certainly evidence to back this up, and since everyone responds to pressure changes differently, it explains why not everyone is equally impacted.  In fact, if you have arthritis, you’re probably more sensitive to such changes, which means that your arthritis is likely to “act up” when the weather starts turning chilly.

It’s normally not something that’s serious enough to consult your doctor about. However, if the pain is new, unexpected, or unusually severe, don’t let it wait.  See your doctor right away to see if there’s something that can be done to help alleviate the pain.

In most cases, you can avoid the worst of it by doing a few things like:

  • Dressing appropriately for the colder weather and if you know you’re especially susceptible to wintertime aches and pains, add an additional layer of clothing for a bit of added warmth.
  • Begin every day with a period of low intensity stretching to limber up for the activity ahead.
  • Be more mindful of what you’re doing and how it’s affecting your body so as not to overtax your joints in the cold weather.
  • Treat yourself to periodic heat treatments to offset the cold and soothe your aches and pains. Your heating pad may become your new best friend during the winter months.

If you follow those simple tips, odds are you’ll be able to manage your aches and pain on your own.