Positive effect of warm water / warmth on joint pains

  • Community Lead

    Rosethornn posted an interesting observation:

    Have you guys noticed that temperature can affect how much you can crack your joints? Or at least, I think so.

    Can't say I ever noticed this consciously. What exactly is your observation? Can you crack less at higher or lower temperatures?

    Does temperature only affect your crackabiliy or also your desire to crack that is the felt tension / stiffness / pressure?

    Personally, I did notice that being submersed in warm relaxing water reduces my desire to crack joints to a minimal level.

  • Yes, I think something about warm water does do that.

  • Community Lead

    So maybe if we would wear some diver suit submersed in fresh, warm water at all times we would never feel the desire / tension / pressure to crack our joints again. :lol:

    I just pondered why being in water seems to help. Maybe it isn't just the warmth but the exerted pressure? :roll:

    Any space travelers here? I'd like to know if being in a Pressure Suit has any observable effect. 😎

  • Community Lead

    I'd like the merge two recent relevant comments from fellow joint crackers into this thread.

    DancingJester had this to say:

    I didn't really care, but recently (especially in cold weather) I've noticed the joints have started aching and I can't write for long at all without getting writters cramp,[…]

    JRskatr repeated this sentiment

    The only problem with cracking my hands (by the way i can crack each finger in at least 2 or 3 places) is that when i play golf, particularly in cold weather, i feel pain in my hands after gripping the club for a while and making contact with the ground. I get scared that im getting arthritis but my hands are perfectly fine in warm weather, so its all good.

    So temperature does indeed seem to have an influence on how severe the pressure or joint pain is felt.

    Maybe there really is some form of correlation. I also feel my joints a little stronger recently again and it has just gotten colder… hmm.

  • Community Lead

    Kelley at www.43things.com suggested to rub the knuckles against each other to warm them up to quench the desire to crack them:

    I’m ‘double jointed’ everywhere on my body. I have bad joints already. i need to stop.

    Ohhh! And a good way to warm your knuckles (I’m a MMO gamer, I would know…makes you type faster if you have warm hands) is to make two compact but kinda lose fists. Make sure your nails on your right and left face each other. Then rub the middle sections of your fingers together side-to-side really fast for about 10 seconds. It makes a funny noise if you have boney hands, but thats okay. Its just warming them. They’ll feel all tingly and good. ( Looks a little silly in public, I must say). Try it, I swear it helps.

    The swelling isn’t permanent either. If you stop for a while the pain does lessen. Ice helps too. So does leaving your hands flat and stretched out while you sleep instead of balling up your fists.

  • Community Lead

    The multiple confirmed, experienced effect of reduced desire to crack joints when the joints are immersed in warm water supports the newest theory on the cause of Jointcracktitis labeled Hypermobile Joints / Lax liagments.

    It is common knowledge that warmth helps to loosen up stiff muscles:

    The soothing warmth and buoyancy of warm water make it a safe, ideal environment for relieving arthritis pain and stiffness.

  • Community Lead

    crazyedgiggles posted another confirmation that a hot shower has a postive effect on the joint pains:

    On another note though, it tends to feel a little sore in the morning, but feels much better after a hot shower. Maybe warm/hot water helps with joint pains?

    I will move this topic to Treatment.

  • hey everyone, I click my fingers more when its cold. I get a sort of mixed urge and pain in my hand and sometimes down my arm if i dont, and it is MUCH WORSE in cold weather or when my hands are cold. This might not happen to everyone but im sure there is a relationship between weather and the need to click.
    I also notice that the sound changes abit too. In cold weather the click is more 'clean' and slightly higher pitched, whereas in hot weather it is duller and more crunchy. Does anyone else get this? And would this suggest that the clicking is my ligaments and not the bubbles?

    Take care everyone!


  • Hi,

    I think the temperature definitely has something to do with the urge to crack joints. I tend to do it more in winter, and it seems less satisfying!

  • the cold weather is a b***h when it comes to cracking for me. it always seems to hurt a little bit, but that could be because i hate the cold and i sit huddled over like the hunchback of notre dame trying to warm up, and i get all stiff. anyway, only one of my hands gets cold, i do believe it's because i'm lopsided, but it always means that when i try to crack those knuckles, my fingers fall off in little frostbitten stumps.

  • I don't think it's the warm/cold weather that causes the urge to crack… I just think the cold causes the ACHE that leads me TO the urge. I had cause to move to a snowy climate recently (have been in temperate climates all my life) and it did increase the ache.

    I also noticed the joints are heavier when it's raining or there's a lot of moisture in the air.

  • I have noticed this.

    I notice when it is cold and i mean cold - my fingers become crackable much quicker and they feel stiffer. It also feels nicer when you release the tension but it hurts more when you do.

    It is hard though because my fingers go numb sometimes when it is pretty cold and even if they don't, it is hard to crack.

  • This is a good thread, yeah i reckon warm water calms muscles and bones or something. i think cold water might do too..

  • cold numbs it and aggrovates cracking.

  • I don't think this is rocket science. Oxygen is more soluble in cold liquids. Because of this the gas bubbles that form when a knuckle is cracked is likely more rapidly resorbed in a cold joint. Also, bercause of this increased solubility more gas can be dissolved in the cold joint. As a result of this in the cold you should be able to crack a joint more frequently and perhaps more loudly (assuming more gas relates to a louder crack).

  • now you put it that way, it does seem quite simple RK 😄

  • It is harder for me to crack my toes when very cold or a lot of excercise. And it hurts to do it sometimes too.

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