The Heat of the Summer: How Warm Weather Can Affect Joint Pain

Carolina Regional Orthopaedics orthopedic doctor

As we age, inflammation of the joints becomes more common. Some people may notice their knees are more stiff during the summer than when they were younger. This article will help you understand how to handle joint discomfort during warmer seasons.

Tips From an Orthopedic Doctor

Joint Anatomy

All joints in the body contain a gel-like fluid called the synovial fluid. It acts similar to oil and lubricates the joints keeping them moving smoothly. Changes in temperature and humidity levels change the thickness or level of the synovial fluid. The synovial fluid can get inflamed, making the joints stiff and harder to move.

How Does Weather Affect the Joints?

Temperature changes affect how the joints work and feel in many different ways. Most people experience joint issues when it’s cold, damp, and rainy, but it all depends on your body and how your joints react to temperature changes. Here are some of the causes of joint stiffness in the summer:

  • Tendons, muscles, and ligaments expand
  • Reduced activity due to hot weather
  • Injured or worn cartilage exposing nerves that react to the changes in air pressure
  • Dehydration reduces synovial fluid causing pain

Keeping the Joints Comfortable During Warm Weather

Stay Cool

Avoid getting exposed to heat for long periods. Dress in light and loose-fitting clothes. If you must stay outside, stay in the shade as much as possible.


Drink plenty of fluids. Hydration helps regulate body temperature and prevent dehydration which worsens joint pain. Drink at least eight glasses of cold water daily during summer.

Keep Moving

Try your best to keep the joints moving. Stretching or exercising helps keep the muscles and tendons around your joints loose, which helps reduce pain. Go for a walk, swim, or do yoga.

See Your Provider for Joint Pain Relief

Staying cool, hydrated, and active might make summer a little easier on the joints. However, it is time to see your primary care provider if these steps aren’t enough to reduce the pain.

Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A.

Are you struggling with joint pain? Is it keeping you from participating fully in life? Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A. can help. After a thorough examination by an orthopedic doctor, we will develop a treatment plan for temporary and permanent pain relief. So, get back to your regular activities and contact us today at 252-443-0400 and schedule an appointment.