How To Relieve Knee Pain In Cold Weather | 8 Easy Solutions

Written By on September 12, 2022 — Medically Reviewed By Kris Ceniza (PT)

Written by on — Medically Reviewed By: Kris Ceniza (PT)

a person in winter clothes trying to wear a knee compression sleeve

How to relieve knee pain in cold weather depends primarily on your diet and certain lifestyle changes. A few of these include doing exercises and taking supplements.

We’ll give you all the facts and remedies you’ll need to become pain-free even under cold temperatures. Tap any of the links below to get started:

8 Tips to relieve cold weather knee pain

There are many ways to reduce knee pain in cold weather, from heating devices to supplements. Try any of the following to learn which suits you best:

1) Do heat therapy for pain relief

If your knee hurts more in the cold, then it makes sense that some form of heat therapy could give you relief.

It’s an effective way to improve blood circulation and reduce both pain and stiffness. (1) So grab a heating pad or dip your knee in a warm bathtub for 20 minutes to get the most out of heat therapy.



Recommended: 5 reasons why heat is good for knee pain

2) Wear a thermal knee sleeve

This specialized piece of clothing helps your knee joints stay warm. It’s a wearable tech to continue your heat therapy on the go while also acting as joint support thanks to its snug fit.

Our recommendation: Cocoon Knee Flex Pro (compression + thermotherapy)

3) Keep yourself hydrated

Staying hydrated keeps your joints healthy. This is because water makes up most of our synovial fluid, a substance within our joints that helps us move them smoothly. (2)

So even as we sweat less on cold days, we still have to keep up with our water intake. You can do this by setting a daily drinking routine or mixing it with fruits to make it more flavorful.

4) Stay active

When done correctly, movement can indeed be a form of medicine. It’s a great way to (3):

  • Reduce weight and lessen the burden on your knee injury.
  • Strengthen muscles that support your body.
  • Release hormones that are responsible for reducing pain levels.

So squeeze in those home workouts, even if it’s just squats or doing household chores. These activities will do wonders for your joint health.

Recommended: 10 easy exercises for knee pain

5) Reduce pain with massage

Massage is a great way to improve blood flow and warm your muscles to relieve pain.

It doesn’t cost much either. Simply put powder or oil onto your skin and apply mild pressure around your knee joint for a few minutes.

You can also schedule an appointment with a massage therapist to maximize results.

6) Add fish oil to your diet

This contains anti-inflammatory properties while also improving blood circulation to your joint cartilage. (4)

Hence, it will benefit those with painful arthritic joints that are being made worse by the cold air.

About 1000 mg of fish oil extract per day is recommended to reap its benefits. (5) It’s usually available in capsule form or from oily fish like trout, mackerel, and salmon.

7) Turmeric for pain management

This is a common spice that helps reduce pain and inflammation. It also contains antioxidants to keep your joint cartilage healthy. (6)

Turmeric is usually available in powder form to add to your food or drink. But arguably, the easiest way to get the 1000 mg daily intake of turmeric is via pills or capsule supplements. (6)

Our recommendation: Turmeric Curcumin Plus, an affordable and natural solution to knee pain

8) Try CBD extracts

Also known as cannabidiol, this is a chemical naturally found in the cannabis Sativa plant. It interacts with your body’s receptors to reduce inflammation and even deal with chronic pain issues. (7)

a CBD oil/serum container with the leaf of the cannabis plant underneath it

CBD is usually available as tinctures, oils, and even edibles. However, there isn’t an ideal dosage. So you should start small to about 20 to 40 mg per day just to be safe.

CBD extracts are different from THC.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is an ingredient that produces that “high” or “buzz” sensation. CBD typically doesn’t contain this psychoactive chemical.

Unfortunately, CBD is still banned in some nations. So make sure to check your country’s drug department if it’s legal to buy or use this supplement.

Recommended: Everything you need to know about using CBD for knee pain

Why do my knees hurt when it’s cold?

Cool weather affects barometric pressure or the weight of air. When the temperature drops, our joints expand and press on tissues, leading to knee pain. (8)

The increased pain can also be brought on by inactivity. Moving less often than you’re used to could stiffen up your joint fluid and make your leg joints feel uncomfortable.

FAQs:

Why am I so stiff in cold weather?

Having stiff joints in cold weather is due to changes to your synovial fluid consistency. This joint lubricating substance tends to become thicker in cooler temperatures. (8)

How can I stop knee pain in winter?

You can stop knee pain in the winter weather by staying warm. Keeping active with exercises and wearing warm clothing are just a few examples.

Is arthritis worse in cold weather?

Arthritis could get worse in cold weather. This is due to our joints adapting, creating more pressure inside them, thus causing more aches and pains. (8)

Conclusion: How to ease joint pain in cold weather

Your daily routine in terms of exercise and supplements all play a huge role to relieve weather-related knee pain.

Mix and match any of the tips above to see which one works most in your favor. For supplements, please consult your doctor first especially if you have other health concerns.

Resources:

  1. Malanga, Gerard A et al. “Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury.” Postgraduate medicine vol. 127,1 (2015): 57-65. DOI: 10.1080/00325481.2015.992719
  2. LaPrade, Robert et al. ” Evidence-Based Management of Complex Knee Injuries.” Elsevier. 17 Dec 2020.https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780323713108/evidence-based-management-of-complex-knee-injuries
  3. Lima, Lucas V et al. “Does exercise increase or decrease pain? Central mechanisms underlying these two phenomena.” The Journal of physiology vol. 595,13 (2017): 4141-4150. doi: 10.1113/JP273355
  4. Kuszewski, Julia C et al. “Fish oil supplementation reduces osteoarthritis-specific pain in older adults with overweight/obesity.” Rheumatology advances in practice vol. 4,2 rkaa036. 23 Jul. 2020, doi: 10.1093/rap/rkaa036
  5. Peanpadungrat, Pornrawee. “Efficacy and Safety of Fish Oil in Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis.” J Med Assoc Thai. 2015 Apr;98 Suppl 3:S110-4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26387397/
  6. Daily, James W et al. “Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.” Journal of medicinal food vol. 19,8 (2016): 717-29. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2016.3705
  7. Bruni, Natascia et al. “Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 23,10 2478. 27 Sep. 2018, doi: 10.3390/molecules23102478
  8. McAlindon, Tim et al. “Changes in barometric pressure and ambient temperature influence osteoarthritis pain.” The American journal of medicine vol. 120,5 (2007): 429-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.07.036

Author
Paolo Sarmiento (PT)
Paolo is a physical therapist, educator and fitness enthusiast. He shares his knowledge and experience in helping people deal with health issues, especially with the knee. As health-conscious as he can be, he enjoys long bicycle rides, early morning runs, and a good slice of pizza with extra pepperoni.

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]