Do Cold Baths Cause Arthritis?
Lately, I've been suffering
from pains that seem to worsen at night. Someone
told me that it may be because I always bathe at
night with cold water. Is this just a myth? Or can
bathing in cold water really lead to rheumatoid
Bathing at night with cold water does not cause
rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, exposure to cold
can sometimes aggravate joint or muscle pain if you
have problems in the joints or the surrounding
tissue, eg. ligaments, tendons and muscles.
Cold stiffens muscles and changes the inner pressure
of joints, resulting in pain.
Do your joints ache during cold weather?
Many people who suffer from joint pain say their
symptoms worsen during cold weather. Why is this so?
Dr Randall Braddom, a specialist in physical
medicine and rehabilitation at the Riverview Medical
Centre in New Jersey, US, says there may be several
reasons for this.
One popular hypothesis is that in cold weather, the
body attempts to conserve more warm blood around the
heart. This leads to less blood being circulated to
peripheral areas, causing stiffening of the joints.
Another idea is that when blood flow is lowered, the
pressure in the joints is reduced. This causes
tissue surrounding the joints to expand, resulting