How Cold Weather Affects Your Back, Spine and Joints


Cold weather can cause the joints and muscles in the body to seize up and tighten. It is a natural way for our body to contract in an attempt to remain warm when the temperature around our body drops to an uncomfortable level.

Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Various studies have shown slight associations between pain and weather factors like temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and wind speed. The strongest evidence points to weather's effects on those with joint pain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. One study of 800 Europeans with osteoarthritis found that 67% reported that they feel the weather affects their pain levels. In another study, those who had osteoarthritis reported a greater sensitivity to cold and pressure than control subjects without arthritis—even when parts of the body not affected by arthritis were tested.

Combating Cold Weather with Heat Therapy

Incorporating a 10-20 minutes of daily heat therapy into your life can result in a reduction of weather related pain. The heat can reduce stiffness and increase blood flow to certain parts of the body. The following heat therapy methods can be used:

  • Apply a hot pack, warm towel or heating pad to the painful area.
  • Apply an over the counter heat wrap to the painful area.
  • Stay active, warm your body by exercising daily.

At Manhattan Wellness Group, Dr. Rashad Trabulsi and his team have been treating patients with back pain and osteoarthritis for over a decade. Come in today and let us help you get pain free. We got your back!